Can You Sell a House in a Trust?

Being in charge of a trust can be a little overwhelming at first but, with the right counsel, you will be able to understand your role and become familiar with what you are able to do and not able to do. One major concern is the issue of property and whether or not you are able to sell a house in a trust. Well, the answer is yes, as long as you are the trustee of that trust. 

What is the Difference Between a Trustee and a Beneficiary?

When a trust is created, there are several roles to be considered. A grantor is the person who creates the trust for himself or herself. The trustee is the person chosen by the grantor to manage the trust and its assets. The beneficiary is the person or organization that will receive the trust from the grantor. In some cases, these roles overlap. For example, the grantor of a living trust can also be the trustee. In some situations, the trustee can be the same person as the beneficiary. Also, there can be more than one beneficiary involved in a trust. If this is your first time considering a trust, it is important that you learn the differences among these titles as you move forward in your estate planning. 

Who Can Sell a House in a Trust?

The trustee is the only one who has the right to sell the house. Think of the trustee as the property manager of the trust. This person has the authority to make the decision to sell, apply for any loans, and sign the deed. If you are the creator of your own living trust, then you are the trustee and still have the right to sell that property. If you pass away, whoever you designated to be the trustee of your trust will step into your shoes and be able to sell your house, even if the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries differ from the person who is the trustee. The beneficiary does not have the right to sell your property. The only time there is an exception to this case is when the beneficiary and the trustee are the same person. 

Keep in mind that a trustee has a responsibility to act in the favor of the beneficiaries. When given options for decisions, the trustee should choose the option that best benefits the designated beneficiaries. When it comes to selling a house in a trust, the trustee should waste no time in getting the home appraised to prove that it is being sold at a fair market value. 

Your next step is to join our facebook group called “Parents Protecting Assets in California”. We provide valuable information on protecting assets from future in-laws and creditors!