Ok, so you’re a beneficiary and you just did a title search on the asset that’s in the trust and you find that it’s in the name of the trustee, who is your older brother perhaps. And you say, “Wait a minute. Why is the title to the trust asset in my older brother’s name? Isn’t that wrong?” And the answer is, “It depends.”
It depends on if the title is in his name as a sole owner or if it’s in his name as trustee of the trust. If it’s the latter, if you see that his name is as trustee of the trust, you’re safe, because the title is still in the name of the trust. Trusts can’t act on behalf of themselves. A trust can’t walk into a court. A trust can’t go down to the Recorder’s Office. A trust can’t even list an asset it has inside it for sale. Trustees do that. People do that. And that’s the title we give people who manage the trust assets. And so if your older brother happens to have the trust asset in the name of himself, as trustee of the trust, chances are everything is fine up to that point in time.