My grandfather left is land in trust to myself and 3 other...

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 20, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My grandfather left his land in trust to myself and three other siblings upon my mother's death. Does that give her the right to sell the gas rights and keep all the money to herself? One of my siblings had her share already deeded to her after the rest of us agreed to it.

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Probably not.
It's important to read the language of the trust to figure out what all of you have the right to do. But unless the gas rights were deeded to one person in particular, the beneficiaries should share the income from the leases equally.

Because your situation may involve some legal complications, it may be a good idea to get some professional assistance. A good starting point is to contact a local lawyer’s referral service. Many county and state bar associations sponsor these services, and charge a nominal fee of $30 to $50 for a 30 to 45 minute consultation.

Beware, however, that the sponsoring organizations generally do not research or endorse the attorneys you'll find through these services, so you may need to do some comparison shopping before you find one who is a good fit for you, especially if he or she goes beyond the initial consultation.

Make sure you bring a complete copy of the trust document so the lawyer can see how and whether it controls splitting up the land and the income.