My question involves real estate located in the State of: ND
My father farmed land for 50 years and wanted to leave the farm (land, house, etc) to his children as this was his only legacy. He didn't have wealth or other property. Our family is comprised of six children, four of whom are step children from my mothers previous marriage. One of the step children has had a history of deception and extortion, among other personal issues. For this specific reason, many years ago my parents and I had a talk and agreed that they would put the farm into a Trust at some time before they get too old, and make sure there is language in the trust that keeps the farm in the family. The kids (even the bad seed) would all get an undivided interest in the farm upon their passing, but required to keep the land in the trust to pass down to future generations. This was the gift that keeps on giving, because rental income would be produced throughout the generations to come, or any of the children could farm themselves and rent from the others, etc.
My dad took ill last year and passed away. When I approached my mother to begin putting her affairs in order, including putting the land into the Trust, she informed me that she already did. However, it was a Life Estate Trust. This provided her use of the house and income from the farm throughout her lifetime, and would pass onto her six children after. The six children would be Tenants in Common with an undivided 1/6th interest. But that type of trust doesn't prevent any of the children from selling off their portion to members outside our family. In other words, they are selling my Dads legacy to his children. Upon hearing this, I asked her why she set it up this way rather than the way we talked about. She said she had no idea that the children could sell their portion of the land upon her death. She thought she was doing the right thing.
Now comes the kicker: it was the bad seed sibling who talked her into the Life Estate Deed. He took her to his friend, who is a lawyer, to get the paper work filed.
So she went to her bank trust department for advice. They told her to get a quit-claim deed signed by her six kids to put back into her name. Then she could transfer to a trust. She did this. Five kids signed. Guess who didn't.
She got a lawyer who specializes in estates and elder law to see what recourse she has. After many months, and thousands of dollars, you know what they did? They sent a quit-claim deed to her six kids again to sign. Same outcome.
So, is this how it ends? Does she quit fighting it? This has already been very stressful, especially just after my dad passed. I wish she had some more options...