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Estate Planning Newsletter

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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Our law firm represents estate planning clients from Riverside County, North County San Diego, Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Wildomar, De Luz, Fallbrook, Bonsall, Escondido, Valley Center, Rainbow, Hemet, Riverside, Menifee, Sun City, Canyon Heights, Canyon Lake, Quail Valley, Pechanga, and Pala. Our law firm focuses on California estate planning, wills, trusts, estates, probate administration, trust administration, asset protection, and entity formation. Practicing as an estate planning attorney, trust attorney, and probate attorney, Laila Kepler guides her clients through life's changes.