Can a trustee sell trust properiy to himself and his wife?

Question Details:He is going to get 20% of the gross profit of the sale and then get another 25% of the net as a beneficiary; he will receive 40% of the money he buys it for and the property.

Asked 1 year ago under Wills, Trusts, Probate | 544 Views | More Legal Topics

Are you an attorney? Sign up to answer this question.
Elena Eckert Answered 1 year ago This 9999 attorney is licensed in California

As a general rule, a trustee, as a fiduciary, is not allowed to self-deal (i.e. sell the trust assets to himself or his spouse at a profit), regardless of whether he is also a beneficiary of the trust.  However, quite often a trust instrument allows the trustee to self-deal, especially if a trustee is a relative of the grantor of the trust.  In this case, the trustee should be able to sell the trust assets to himself.  You should read the trust instrument and see if self-dealing is allowed (read the section titled "Trustee's powers or the like).  

Regardless of the language of the trust instrument, a trustee remains a fiduciary with respect to the trust beneficiaries and is not supposed to do anything contrary to the interests of the beneficiaries.  A sale of the trust assets to himself is not necessarily harmful to the beneficiaries' interests, however, if for example he pays less than the fair market value, he is likely to be in violation of his fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries.

I suggest you consult an attorney knowledgable in trust administration in your area.

Attorney Quick Finder

Top Ranking Attorneys

  • Anne Brady 829 Answers | Points 41430 Platinum Contributor
  • Kevin Bessant 741 Answers | Points 37030 Platinum Contributor
  • Hong Shen 568 Answers | Points 28400 Platinum Contributor
  • Catherine Blackburn 566 Answers | Points 27770 Platinum Contributor
  • Victor Waid 522 Answers | Points 26060 Platinum Contributor
  • Tricia Dwyer 480 Answers | Points 22150 Gold Contributor