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The Professional Trustee Team

Professional Trustees and Property Settlements

Professional trustees are involved in all sorts of transactions for their clients. One of these is signing the settlement documents when a trust is buying or selling a property. 

The sale and purchase agreement for such a transaction will detail the settlement date, i.e. the date the property officially changes ownership from the seller to the buyer. At this time, the lawyers involved will prepare settlement documents, which need to be signed by both parties. If the property is being purchased or sold by a trust, this means the trustees, including any professional trustee, will need to sign them. 

It should be no surprise to you when the settlement date is approaching – generally you’ll know many weeks, if not months, beforehand, as will your lawyer. If you have a professional trustee, it is advisable to let them know well in advance when the property sale is going to settle, so they can be ready to sign the documents for you. Leaving it to the last minute can cause unnecessary stress, in what can be an already stressful (albeit exciting) time. 

GRA act as professional trustee for thousands of trusts. Most of our clients are great at letting us know in advance of upcoming settlements. Occasionally, though, a client will contact us in a panic only a day (or a few hours!) before the documents need to be signed. This places enormous pressure on the professional trustee, who has to drop what they are doing to attend to the matter urgently. Had they known in advance, they would have organised their workflow to accommodate. 

If you leave it to the very last minute only to find that your professional is unavailable, you risk being unable to settle on the designated date. This can result in financial penalties payable to the other party in the transaction. 

So if your trust is involved in a property sale and you have a professional trustee, let them know at least a week in advance of settlement date. At GRA we encourage our clients to do this by offering a discount if they give the professional trustee at least 5 working days’ notice. Regardless of whether your professional trustee does the same, things will be a lot smoother and easier if you give them plenty of notice. 

If you need assistance with your trust, or would like more information about GRA’s professional trustee service, contact us at GRA

The Professional Trustee Team
The Professional Trustee Team
© Gilligan Rowe & Associates LP

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Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide only a summary of the issues associated with the topics covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive nor to provide specific advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained within this article without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any further information or advice on any matter covered within this article, please contact the author.

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