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Questions Answered by Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Social Security for California on
Q: Do I go to a County attorney to turn in elder abuse , neglect and miss use of retirement fund's

It looks to me as if he suffered during his death

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jan 12, 2021

Start with Adult Protective Services. I have had great luck with them and they will refer it to the office it needs to go to.

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Elder Law for California on
Q: An elderly neighbor offered to will me her home if I managed her care for the next few years. What are the issues here?

My elderly neighbor's husband just passed, and she finds herself overwhelmed by paperwork, by legal matters, and so forth. She is getting quite on in years and has no living family. She offered to will me her home if I would become power of attorney on her behalf and helped manage her affairs.... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jan 5, 2021

The main issue is that it is not enforceable. Also, you are trying to take payment for something without calling it income.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Is power of attorney all that's needed to get access to deceased mothers bank account

My mother recently passed away. I have a will and a power of attorney signed by my mother. I am her sole survivor. The bank will not allow me to access her bank account saying that I need to go to the county and get a small estate affidavit and/or appointment papers as the... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Jan 2, 2021

No. The power of attorney lost its authority when your mother passed away.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: How can I get a copy of a will filed in Orange County court, to know the beneficiaries of the descendent’s estate.
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Dec 30, 2020

Just go to the courthouse (the county Probate court should work best) and look it up on their computers. You should be able to search the Probate files with just the name of the deceased; if not the clerk can help you. Then look at the File and print up the Will that was entered into the court.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Approximately how much does it cost to put a property in a living trust? Thank you.
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Dec 28, 2020

If yo ualready have the trust, all you have to do is make a new deed and record it with the County Clerk. The clerk will charge you about $25 if it is your residence and $100 if it is not. If you want the deed written for you then it is probably about $250.

If you need the trust written...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for California on
Q: My mother in-law needs to be confined to a locked facility how do I help my wife file conservatership

What does my wife need to prove to the court and what is the best type of evidence for my wife to provide the courts to show the that her mother needs to be confined for her safety and the safety of others(her mother has he her liscenae revoked but still drives when she shouldn’t she stops in the... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Dec 4, 2020

A Conservatorship is filed in the County where she lives. You can ask the judge for special powers to put her in a facility where she can be kept from wandering, but your doctor has to support it and the judge won't want to do it unless it really is the best thing for Mom; the same procedure... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: Can a husband leave real estate to an adult child instead of his spouse so it can be sold without capital gains taxes?
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Oct 31, 2020

The husband can leave his half of the community property and all of his separate property to whomever he wants.

It won't matter for capital gains who he leaves it to though. That person, spouse or stranger, will inherit the property at a stepped up basis (erasing the capital gain...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: If my father left me money in his trust, can the trustee change that trust when he passes away
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Oct 29, 2020

No. Absolutely not. The Trustee must follow the instructions of the Trust.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for California on
Q: If I inherited my father's house after he passes, and I sell it, do I get hit with capital gains tax?

My father owns a house outright in California. I am the only child, and the house is in trust to be inherited down to me. My mother passed 2 years ago. If I in turn sell the house after my dad passes, do I get hit with capital gains tax?

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Oct 19, 2020

There will be no capital gains tax on inheritted assets, except on the gains since you inheritted the asset.

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: If I'm a Mexican citizen and my mom died in CA without a will in place... can i claim her property?

My mom passed 5 years ago. I am the oldest, I have 3 half siblings that are US citizens, i am not. Mom left no will. The house was paid for. No taxes are owed.

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Oct 13, 2020

If mom died without a Will (called dying intestate) then the Probate Court has to approve the disposition of her assets. Someone has to go to the Probate Court where she died and start the proceedings. It won't matter where you live. Her assets will be divided per the law which generally... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for California on
Q: My 89 year old father (widower) in Arizona wants to set up a living trust for his mobile home and car.

My father still has a small mortgage on the home. He already has a Will and Durable POA. He is interested in creating a mechanism such as a living trust by which his home and minivan can be transferred to me as his sole heir without the necessity of the property going through probate. His Will... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Sep 25, 2020

A Living Trust will not solve the payback problem anywhere except California. In the lesser States it requires an Irrevocable Trust.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Once someone dies who starts the process of the will?

My single Dad passed away in June leaving 3 offspring in our 50's. My brother moved in with Dad several years ago due to no home

For last 3 years Dad needed care provided primarily by brother. Sister/me assisted 2 days/wk. After Dad died, bro claims Dad left all to him, discontinued... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Sep 23, 2020

The custodian of the Will is required by law to "lodge" it with the Probate Court and start the process. The court appoints an Admiistrator and then supervises the distribution of the assets. It is kind of a long, annoying process which is why we use Trusts to avoid it.

If the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Uniform Testamentary Additions to Trust Act (UTATA) -

Justia states the UTATA requires the trust also reference the pour-over will. What statement added to the trust would meet this requirement?

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Sep 21, 2020

I believe you are mistaken.

The UTATA allows a Pour Over Will but does not mandate any reference in the Trust. You can read the whole thing at...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Paying off my parent's mortgage and putting the title under my name

My parents, who are in their 80's still paying mortgage on house. What is involved for me to pay off the mortgage and putting the title under my name so my parents do not have to worry about this anymore?

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Sep 12, 2020

NO!!!!!!!!

If you move the house into your name while they are alive then you will give up a HUGE tax advantage. Right now if the house is sold, your parents have a big tax liability for all the profit they make on the sale (probably). If they GIVE the property to you then you carry the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: New Baby Not Listed in the Family Trust - Will She Still Inherit?

My boyfriend is a co-trustee and beneficiary of a family trust. The entire family consists of my boyfriend, his mother and brother (the three co-trustees). They do not have any other family members, extended or otherwise. However, last year my boyfriend and I had a daughter together, but she is not... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Sep 6, 2020

You have to look at the Trust to see how it is written. When I write one I make it so you never have to worry about this problem and don't have to update your Trust every time anyone has a baby. I bet this Trust is written that way too, BUT a Trust can be written any way the client wants so... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: If I get a Statutory Will Form and fill it out correctly and have two witnesses, is it a legal document? I am in CA.
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Sep 6, 2020

Yes. The Statutory Will is designed to be foolproof, but if you have any special circumstances or want to get tricky then get some help. A professional will make sure you avoid Probate, plan for long term nursing care and avoid serious tax mistakes.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for California on
Q: If my dad passes, and house is in trust to me, can i resume the prop 13 property taxes?

My father owns his house outright, and wants to put the house in my name now. First, is this a good idea? The house is in a trust to me in case he passes. Second, if and when I become the owner of the house, can I resume the prop 13 taxes? If I can resume those prop 13 taxes, if I were to sell... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Sep 2, 2020

Terrible idea!

If you inherit the house instead of having it gifted, you save a ton of money on taxes. If you inherit then your tax basis is stepped up to the current value; if dad gifts it then you also get his tax basis. That means a huge difference in the taxable gain when you sell....
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: How to get name on deseased dads deed for house he owned outright

Theres 3 sibling s im the oldest

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Sep 2, 2020

To get a deed changed you need an order from the Probate Court, unless the property was in a Trust.

The Probate Court will look at the Will and hold hearings to make sure there are no problems, and then give an order for authority to distribute the assets. If there was no Will then you do...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Does a Revocable Living Trust need to be filed with the County Recorder's office in California

The Trust does contain real property (a home)

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Aug 14, 2020

No. You can do it but the county clerk does that so infrequently that you will just get a funny look from them. Also, this would make the document public, which most people don't want.

Keep the original safe, and I usually tell my clients to give the successor trustees a copy.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My dad passed away. He has a trust. He has 4 daughters. 3 are named with their children. I am not. Fight it? or not?

Document says I am specifically not named. What information do I need to provide to fight this and get named in will?

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Aug 11, 2020

If you are specifically named as getting nothing, then all you can do is challenge the mental capacity of your father to make that decision. If he was in his full senses, then he has the right to exclude you if he wants to.

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