Can my sister be removed from our late father’s’ home by his trustee?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my sister be removed from our late father’s’ home by his trustee?

My father had a Living Trust for several years naming myself and my sister as co-successor trustees. My sister has admittedly lived with him for over 10 years and is still living there but has not provided financial support such as paying rent, utilities, etc. My dad went to stay with my brother, who he hadn’t seen but twice in 10 years, prior to his passing away. He was there only about 1 month before he went into the hospital. In that brief period, he had a new Living Trust written naming my brother as Successor Trustee. My brother is refusing to give us a copy of it. My brother states that he is going to have my sister removed from dad’s house immediately. She has no money and nowhere to go, can he do that? The house is part of the Trust.

Asked on February 14, 2017 under Estate Planning, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if he is the trustee, he has the authority to do this: the trustee has the same authority over a home as the owner would have, and the owner could require a guest--someone who is neither a co-owner nor a rent-paying tenant--to leave at any time. Therefore, if he is actually the trustee, he can do this.
You write that there has been no proof presented that he is trustee. If your sister doubts the legality of the trust or his authority, she can refuse to go; he would then have to bring a legal action to remove her; and in that action, he will have to prove the existence of the trust and his authority under it.

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