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How To Sell Property in a Trust

Trust property is any real estate property that is subject to a trust: a legal agreement, akin to a will, that specifies what happens to assets and properties following a person’s death. Trusts are established to protect certain assets during the estate planning process. In effect, a trust shields the beneficiaries from the stress of the probate process. When selling trust property, the trust will designate two separate legal parties that are essential to the real estate sale process: the trustee, who manages the trust, and the beneficiary, who receives the stated asset or property. To properly acquire or sell trust property, it is helpful for the trustee and beneficiary to work together.

The Trust Real Estate Sales Process

Selling trust real estate is comparable to selling traditional real estate, but with some additional processes to be aware of.

In this process, the trustee sells the property to an outside party, then the funds from the sale become a part of the overall trust. The process of selling with the trustee runs roughly as follows:

  • First, you’ll need to review the trust documents to ensure the trustee has the right to sell the property. This is fairly standard and should be part of the trust paperwork.

  • After confirming the right to sell, you’ll want to find an experienced trust real estate agent to facilitate the process.

  • To close the sale, you’ll need to supply sufficient proof that the trust is valid and the trustee has the right to sell the property. This will normally require a Certification of Trust signed by a trust attorney, a death certificate of the trust creator, and a tax ID number.

  • Finally, with all documents and rights verified, you can close the sale once the trustee, beneficiary, and buyer reach an agreeable deal.

  • After finalizing the sale, the earnings become assets of the trust and can be either given to the beneficiary or kept in an account for safekeeping.

Selling trust property in California is common, but it’s also a complicated process with many steps and intricacies. The best way to truly protect yourself and ensure the best possible sale is to hire an experienced trust real estate agent.


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