What is a trustee’s duty if a beneficiary passes away?

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What is a trustee’s duty if a beneficiary passes away?

I was trustee for the estate of my grandmother. She willed my brother property. My brother has since passed away. He has 2 grown children. Am I still in the picture on my brother’s estate? The parcel list me as trustee. How do I get my name off?

Asked on September 28, 2011 under Estate Planning, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the losses you have suffered.  More information is needed here to help guide you.  First, were you the executor for the estate or was there a trust that was created and you were the trustee for the trust?  It will make a bit of difference depending.  Now, if you were the executor for the estate and the estate has been finalized - all the assets gathered, all the debts paid and the beneficiaries have received their inheritance, then you have nothing left to do (as long as the estate taxes are filed and the paperwork finalized).  The parcel you speak of - a parcel of land as real property - should have been transferred by executor's deed.  Now, if there is a trust that was set up and you are to divide the trust property as per the trust then that needs to be completed as well.  But the land should not list you personally.  It should list the trust.  Please take all documents to an attorney to review.  The distribution to the children is a whole other story.  Good luck.


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