You can go online and create your own trust, but will it be enforced?

One of the reasons it is important to have a lawyer create a trust for you, is that when reviewing trusts courts will look to the very specific language employed in the trust documents, as a recent case out of Texas illustrates, according to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog in “Court Held That Trustee Had Authority to Sell Real Property and That the Beneficiaries Did Not Have a Right of First Refusal.”

In this case, the corpus of the trust consisted of a ranch. The trust made it clear that the settlor wished that the ranch not to be sold, but the trustee decided to sell it. The beneficiaries sued the trustee.

The court ruled for the trustee because of the specific language used in the trust. Since the language merely expressed a desire on the part of the settlor for the ranch to not be sold but did not absolutely prevent it, the trustee was free to sell the ranch.

You can go online, answer a few questions and you have a trust. However, the big question is whether that trust will hold up under the scrutiny of a court.

An estate planning attorney can advise you in creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances and may include a trust.

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