DEATH OF A SOLE TRUSTEE

Upon the death of a sole trustee, title to the trust property vests in the heirs of the trustee pursuant to Mass. Gen. L. c. 190, §3, until such time as a successor trustee is appointed pursuant to the trust instrument or by a court of competent jurisdiction (i.e., the supreme judicial court, superior court, or probate court under Mass. Gen. L. c. 203, §5).  The heirs of a deceased trustee are not permitted to administer the trust.  Rather, they hold legal title in accordance with the terms of the trust until the successor trustee is duly appointed.  See Estey v. Gardner, 291 Mass. 303 (1935), Harlow v. Cowdrey, 109 Mass. 183 (1872), and cases cited.   See also 28 Mass. Pr. (Park) 2d, §163.