Can Trustee Sell Property Without All Beneficiaries Approving?

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When someone passes away, the process that follows can often become quite complicated, especially if there are multiple people, or even children, involved. The only way to ensure that your wishes are being adhered to when you are gone is to have a will in place.

Within your will, you can appoint someone as a trustee, and this person will ensure that all of the dependents in the will are cared for after your death. It can be difficult to choose who you want this person to be, but they are very important if you are leaving money or assets to anyone under the age of 18.

Can-Trustee-Sell-Property-Without-All-Beneficiaries-Approving

You might be wondering if the trustee is able to sell a property without all of the beneficiaries approving, and this is something that we are going to look at in this article. Just keep reading to find out more.

What is a Trustee in a Will?

The trustee plays a vital role in ensuring that all dependents are cared for in the event of your death. They are the person that will be responsible for managing the money or assets that you have set aside for someone else.

This is usually the best route to take if you want to leave any money or property to someone that cannot take responsibility for these assets themselves.

An example of this could be children under the age of 18 or adults that are lacking mental capacity. If either of these instances applies to you, then you can create a trust, which is an amount of money that will be set aside, and it can only be used for the benefit of the chosen beneficiaries.

The trustee will decide what to spend the money on, or it will allocate it to the person at the right time.

What Are the Responsibilities of the Trustee?

If you are a trustee, you should always have the best interests of the beneficiary or beneficiaries at the center of every decision that you make that relates to the money or assets in the trust. This will be your fiduciary duty.

You may have specific instructions to follow in the trust agreement, and these can help to offer guidance on what the money should be spent on.

For example, an elderly person that suffers from dementia may be left a trust with money that was to only be used for their care. Another example could be a trust for a child under 18 that must spend their money on their education. If a trust agreement does contain instructions, then you are obliged to follow them.

However, if the trust is a discretionary trust, then you will need to make the decisions surrounding what the money would best be spent on. Unless it is specifically stated in the agreement, you will not be able to benefit from the trust yourself.

Can Trustee Sell Property Without All Beneficiaries Approving?

Yes, the trustee has the powers of an absolute owner, and they can even postpone a sale if they wanted to. However, in order to sell any property, there must be at least two trustees that are able to sign the contract for the sale.

Additionally, they must be following any given instructions, and avoid breaching the terms of the trust.

Breaching the Terms of Trust

A trustee will be held personally liable if they do something that they are not supposed to do, or they fail to do something that they should have done concerning the administration of the trust. This is why it is important not to breach the terms of trust.

What to Do if You Have Been Asked to Be a Trustee

If you have been asked to be a trustee, you will need to carefully think about the responsibility that this position holds. It is a lot of responsibility, and it will require a lot of work. You are not going to be paid for this responsibility, and it is going to come out of your own time. 

If you don’t carry out your duties properly, you may be liable for losses made by the trust. It could also become a long-term commitment, depending on the nature of the trust, which is something else to be mindful of.

There may also be more than one trustee for one trust, which means that you will need to discuss every decision with them and come to agreements on these decisions. If you do not get on with the other trustee, then this relationship might not work well. 

You should also remember that as a trustee, everything that you do must be for the benefits of the person that the trust was created for, and your decision should reflect this. If you don’t think that you can fill the role of a trustee to the best of your ability, then it might not be the role for you.

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