Wills

questions & answers

Question: In 2008, my only uncle put everything he owned, including his business he had for over 30 years, into a revocable trust naming my sister and I as co successor trustees and me as the executor of his estate. My uncle passed away September 22, 2014 and my sister wants to sell the business...but I have been running the business and want to keep it. She has moved away and declared she wants nothing to do with it. Will I be forced to buy her out in order to keep the business? Or because it was a gift that she doesn't want isn't that just like refusing any other gift? Thank you, Lisa

Answer: In most complex Trust and Estate Distribution situations, as here, an attorney should be consulted. Aside from whether this was a "Testamentary" Trust (created by a Will and involving an "Executor") and whether the 2 "Trustees" were the sole "Beneficiaries", Arizona Trust law clearly explains the procedure when a beneficiary wishes to refuse (”Disclaim”) their interest in the trust property. For example, the Disclaimer must be a written, irrevocable and unqualified refusal, must be within nine months from the death of the Trustor, must be filed in-person or by certified mail to the personal representative of the deceased or executor of the will. A disclaiming Beneficiary who is also a Trustee, must also formally refuse her position as Trustee. Note: the Disclaimant cannot direct her interest in the property to another person; it must flow according to the Will (or laws of “Intestacy’ if no Will exists.)

QUESTIONS

  • In 2008, my only uncle put everything he owned, including his business he had for over 30 years, into a revocable trust naming my sister and I as co successor trustees and me as the executor of his estate. My uncle passed away September 22, 2014 and my sister wants to sell the business...but I have been running the business and want to keep it. She has moved away and declared she wants nothing to do with it. Will I be forced to buy her out in order to keep the business? Or because it was a gift that she doesn't want isn't that just like refusing any other gift? Thank you, Lisa

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