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Estate Planning Newsletter

  • Distributing the Assets of Missing Persons
    When an individual dies, their estate must be administered and distributed according to their previously established estate plan (if the decedent executed an estate plan prior to their death) or state intestate succession laws (if the... Read more.
  • The Meaning of Probate
    Probate, a Latin term meaning “to prove the will,” is a court-supervised process that settles a person’s affairs after death. To ensure that the decedent’s final matters and wishes are handled correctly... Read more.
  • Getting Rid of an Executor or Administrator
    State laws and procedures typically govern the administration of an estate. For this reason, the law varies among jurisdictions. However, in 1969, a “Uniform Probate Code” (Uniform Code) was introduced. Since that time,... Read more.
  • Special Needs Trusts Preserve Public Benefits for the Disabled
    Some government statistics estimate that between 15% and 20% of all Americans have some form of disability. It is also estimated that the majority of disabled persons will need to avail themselves of public assistance to help pay the... Read more.
Estate Planning News Links

Correcting Mistakes in Trust Distribution

There may be instances where property under a trust is transferred to the wrong beneficiary. This transfer can be corrected through a remedy called a resulting trust or an implied trust. Do not confuse a resulting trust, which is created by the court to remedy some error, from an express trust, which is a trust expressly created by a person (the trustor or settlor) who designates a trustee to manage assets or property for the benefit of trust beneficiaries.

When a Resulting Trust Is Imposed

A resulting trust is typically imposed by a court, and may occur under any of the following situations:

  • Failure of an express trust (due to unclear intentions or inherent illegality)
  • A need to determine who is to receive property that remains after an express trust has been administered and property has been distributed
  • A person acquires property that was not meant to be a gift to him/her

Distinguishing Characteristics

Resulting trusts are different from other trusts, in that they are:

  • Involuntary – Imposed by law, rather than being voluntarily created.
  • Not a Constructive Trust – Imposed because of a good faith error, instead of the fraudulent transfer or undue influence that characterizes constructive trusts.

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