In this article, we’re answering “can a beneficiary stop the sale of a property?”
This article is part of our series on private banking, which includes a wide range of free articles to help you find the best banks and manage your wealth.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- Can a Beneficiary Stop the Sale of a Property?
- How to Sell Trust Property?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ready to Explore Your Options?
Can a Beneficiary Stop the Sale of a Property?
A beneficiary cannot stop the sale of a property in an estate unless specific conditions are met. These conditions include when a property is being sold under fair market value, an executor is profiting in some way from the sale, or otherwise acting in bad faith and not upholding their fiduciary duties.
If any of the above conditions are met, a beneficiary of an estate can petition the relevant court to stop the sale. However, it’s important to note that this is only possible in rare instances, as the executor of an estate does not need approval from beneficiaries to dispose of estate assets.
On the other hand, an executor should carefully document any sale of assets and clearly communicate with the beneficiaries. This level of transparency can help avoid misunderstandings and the possibility of drawn-out court proceedings.
Note: Before deciding on specific trust or estate planning structures, you should speak with qualified advisors to guide you through your decisions. The same is true if you are an executor planning the sale of estate assets or a beneficiary looking to contest a sale. Understanding the exact requirements and available options can help you save time, and money, and (in most cases) avoid a lengthy legal battle.
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How to Sell Trust Property?
Generally speaking, the process to sell trust property depends on the type of trust and whether the grantor of the trust has died. If the grantor/trustee is still alive and is the person selling the trust, then they may need to seek approval from the named beneficiaries.
If the grantor of the trust has already died and the successor trustee is carrying out the terms of the trust, they do not need to seek approval from beneficiaries. Instead, they can sell trust assets in accordance with the terms of the trust. In most cases, this can only be contested if the assets are being sold below fair market value.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are three of the most common questions we receive from people wondering if a beneficiary can stop the sale of a property. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
What Happens When One Sibling Is Living in an Inherited Property and Refuses to Sell?
When one sibling is living in an inherited property and refuses to sell, formal legal proceedings may be required. However, this is only the case if the property is an asset of the estate or was inherited jointly. That said, in most instances, all inheriters must agree to a sale in order for a property to be sold.
What Can Override a Beneficiary?
An executor of an estate can override the wishes of a beneficiary. In fact, the executor does not need to seek prior approval from beneficiaries. This is true when carrying out the sale of estate assets or the terms of a trust. However, it is important that the executor maintains clear records supporting their decisions. This is especially true regarding the price at which estate assets are sold.
Can I Force My Brother to Sell an Inherited House?
In most cases, you cannot force your brother to sell an inherited house when it has been inherited jointly. Instead, all those that inherited the property need to agree on the sale. That said, if a house is still an asset of the estate, the executor may choose to sell the property.
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