Ensuring Trust Terms Are Followed Regarding Real Estate (Michigan)

By Matthew A. Quick When inspecting the deed to property, the buyer may find the word "Trustee" following the name of the person purported to be the trustee of a trust managing the property, but if the deed contains no other reference to a trust or trust powers, it does not itself constitute notice of a trust. Michigan Land Title Standard 8.2.

Michigan law provides that when an express trust is created, but is not contained or declared in the deed to the trustees, and the trustees then convey the property to a purchaser (for valuable consideration and without notice of the trust) the title to the property shall vest in the purchaser for value. MCL 555.20.

In sum, more than just the word "Trustee" after the name of the trustee in the deed is required to give notice that the subject property may only be conveyed pursuant to the rules of a trust.