How to buy/acquire a property from dead trustees

5 Replies

Hey BP community,

Hoping y’all can help me out with an odd situation. There is a house in my town that is very clearly abandoned. I looked up the owners using qsearch and it was a trustee. I then looked up the deed and found that the trust consists of three individuals. All three of them have since passed away. Two of them moved out of the county beforehand. My question is, how can I Buy this property? Do I have to go chase down any inheritors from each of them and try to get a quit claim deed from. As I said, some moved away so would their probate cases be from the county they moved to, or in the county with the property that they owned 1/3 of. Tracking down all this info and then the possible 3-100 other people that may have inherited some portion of ownership in this home seems like a lot to do. Then to get all of them to agree to a quite claim deed from some small amount of money seems unlikely. Is this the route I would have to go to buy this house? Do I have any other options? Any info would be much appreciated!

If the trustee died and there is no successor trustee named in the trust, someone will likely need to petition the local probate/orphans court to appoint a trustee. When a property is owned by a trust, dealing with anyone other than the trustee will not work... even if the trust itself stated what happens with the property when certain events occur it would likely require trustee involvement to accomplish it.

Thanks @Tom Gimer for the response! Do you know how I would find the original trust so I can see if any successor trustee is named? Also can anyone petition the local probate court to appoint a trustee and how would they decide on a trustee?

Find a good attorney to discuss the local laws and proceedings with. In South Carolina the property goes to any family members but you need to work through court proceedings. I'm not familiar with Georgia laws.

Boils down to legal/investigative work.

Do you have a copy of the original trust? Sounds like you have info for the 3 original trustees, that’s a great starting point. Dig around to see if they have estates, maybe find the lawyer who set up the trust.

@Brian Windle Somebody prepared that trust and a copy should exist. Do trusts get registered with GA corporations division or SOS? You'll need to do some research on GA fiduciaries as well as some investigation.

The trustees may be the record owner but it's the beneficiary that the law is ultimately concerned with.