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Trust Distribution

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Question from Missouri. I am a co-beneficiary of a living trust with my brother. We knew there was a trust but had never paid much attention to it but now our mother is not doing well so we are trying to get things in order. My brother is first successor trustee and I am second successor trustee. The trust contains CDs, some stocks and among other things two farms. My brother lives on one and I live on the other.

The trust says that "upon the death of both settlors(our mom and dad) the trustee shall despose of the trust estate in the following manner: Ninety days after the death of the surviving settlor, the trustee shall distribute free of trust all the rest , residue and remainder of the property in the trust to (my brother and myself) in equal shares per stirpes."

Our question is - how much leeway do we have in how we devide the farms? They are not equal in value but I like mine and he likes his.


Senior Member
Sounds like a plan, and remarkably civilized and fair.

Unless there are estate taxes -- if the estate exceeds $1 million, including the value of the 2 farms, other assets, and any life insurance, annuities, etc. what the 2 beneficiares do is between them.

If there are estate taxes, then some folks would say they should be apportioned on the basis of the real value of both pieces of property, or the brother getting the more valuable farm should pay the full estate tax to the extent his was more valuable, and then split it or allocate.

You and your brother should probably sign a brief agreement stating that is what you agree should happen. ANd to make everything real legal, get a lawyer to help -- it won't be a big deal.

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