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Questions Answered by Jonathan Purcell
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My mother died and I am her sole beneficiary in a trust. Is it more beneficial to leave trust intact with EIN or not?

My mother recently passed away and I am her sole beneficiary in a revocable trust (which is now an irrevocable trust on her passing). The trust contains two CDs and an annuity. When the trust was made, the lawyer that made it advised me to close these accounts and re-open them in accounts in my... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on May 8, 2021

Consider:

1. Estate income tax uses a different type of accounting than personal income tax.

2. Transferring your trust assets to your personal ownership will collapse your tax return obligations into one personal income return with which you are already mostly familiar....
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for California on
Q: What can be done if "B" trust assets were donated benefiting "A" trust executor and second wife?

Father-in-law is Bill. His 1st wife is Mary. They had a trust that owned 20 rental homes. Beneficiaries were 3 kids. About a year after Mary died, Bill remarried. Ten yrs later, Bill and second wife Joyce created a trust. At that time, 10 rentals were put in a "B" trust (Mary's... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Apr 12, 2021

The 'B' subtrust of the Mary and Bill trust, holds ten properties.

Joyce presumably has a right to periodic income from rents.

Could a loan be arranged using equity based on one or more properties to secure a loan, which would be repaid on the death of Joyce?

This...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I live in a house that was gifted to me. If I sell this and buy a new home will it still be considered separate property

My home is considered separate because it was gifted, but if I sell this and buy a new home while still married, will the new home still be separate property or would it now be considered community property? I live in California.

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Mar 20, 2021

I suggest you contact an attorney before you sell your house, or transfer the proceeds of a sale into a bank account. In general, separate property that is commingled with another person, such as money in a joint bank account, may not be considered as separate property after it is commingled,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My daughter left no will but had made me beneficiary of all she had. Do I need to go to court for anything?

Her bank accts, life insurance and house were all under both our names

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Mar 14, 2021

Bank and life insurance should pass through beneficiary designation by providing to the relevant institutions a certified death certificate and your credentials.

Assuming that the house was held in joint tenancy, You will need to file AFFIDAVIT - DEATH OF JOINT TENANT, a Preliminary...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What is the best way to remove my mother in law and deceased Father in law from my deed.

30 years ago we bought a house with my Father and mother in law. The verbal agreement was that they would provide the down payment and we would make the payments and pay for the utilities and take care of my mother in law when my father in law passed. The house is held as Joint tenants and my... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Mar 13, 2021

In general, the Statute of Frauds requires that certain transactions must be in writing.

See, California Civil Code Section 1624(a)(3)

This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My grandmother died without a will about 5 years ago without a will. Left a real estate property.

My grandmother died without a will about 5 years ago. She has a property and my dad is being paying for the loan & taxes?

How can my dad transfer the house to himself? Or what’s the route to go to?

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Mar 13, 2021

If there are no testamentary documents such as a will or trust, you will need to have an attorney file for probate in the appropriate court. The probate court will determine who will inherit the property.

This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information...
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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for California on
Q: Our mom died now my sister and I are the equal owners of her trust. I have a 25 year contract to farm the almonds

The lease states: “if the property is sold during the term of the lease the lease shall terminate and the lessee shall be entitled to the sum of $5000 per year for all years remaining on the lease as liquidated damages.”

If I buy the property before the lease is over does the trust owe... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Feb 20, 2021

You should have an attorney review the lease, the contract, and the trust, as well as other real estate documents.

This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be construed as legal advice...
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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Should a real estate agent or attorney be hired to facilitate a tenants-in-common sale between the co-owners?

It is not required in California to have a real estate attorney, but given that the seller already has a buyer, i.e. one co-owner is selling their share to the other co-owner, would it possibly be cheaper to have a real estate attorney draw up documents instead of a real estate agent?

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Feb 2, 2021

You might consider contacting a title company.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: In California, the DMV has their own specialized small estate affidavit form. However I'm a bit confused about this part

Example: My friend's dad's car was solely owned in his name, and no beneficiary was designated in the title, but the friend is a beneficiary in his will. However for small estates the gross value has to be below $166,250, yet cars are excluded from determining the value for this kind of... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Feb 2, 2021

There are a variety of methods to transfer assets post-mortem, including trusts, wills, intestacy, beneficiary designations, etc.

The DMV provides a method of transfer that is specific to vehicles.

Jonathan Purcell is a California Attorney. This posting does not create any...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: I have two mortgages on two properties in CA. One will soon be used as a rental. Is it better to consolidate the two?

I should refinance both properties now because I can save money with the low interest rates on mortgages. One lender suggested that I consolidate the two loans and pay-off the loan on my future rental property. But I wonder if I will benefit more (because of the tax benefits) if I maintain the loan... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jan 27, 2021

I suggest you build a good spreadsheet and analyze and compare individual scenarios as they arise.

Jonathan Purcell is a California Attorney. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I’m buying my mother’s house which is valued at $320,000.00 I am paying only $140,000.00 since that is the she owes.

Is that considered a capital gain? Do I need to pay extra on my state and federal taxes. Does my mother has to pay extra taxes.

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jan 1, 2021

If you buy an asset for less than the fair market value, the seller should file a gift tax return. Unless your Mother dies with a combined estate and lifetime gift that exceeds approximately $11,000,000 (or the exemption amount in effect at the time of her death), there should be no estate tax... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Hi i inherited 3 houses from my grandma I'm collecting rent for one of them is that legal

Is it legal for me to collect the rent and is it legal for the trustee successor to take that rent away from me and put it in a trust account until it's in my name... I have been collecting rent for the past year the trustee successor is wanting to step in now and take over and hire a property... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Dec 18, 2020

Ideally there should be a written agreement between the successor trustee and the property manager, that outlines the obligations of both parties.

Jonathan Purcell is a California Attorney. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My wife and I have a rental property free and cleared would like to gift/transfer to my nephew without paying too much

tax and completely removed our names off the property. The property is located in Stockton, CA.

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Dec 17, 2020

You may gift up to the value of the annual exclusion, which is currently $15,000 per year, without the donor or recipient filing with the IRS. A married couple may donate twice this much to the recipient. If the recipient is married, and the donor is married the recipient may receive four times... Read more »

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 »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Sep 25, 2020

I'm not familiar with Arizona laws. A quick internet search reveals that Arizona has a form for beneficiary designation of automobiles. Please refer to the link below.

https://apps.azdot.gov/files/mvd/mvd-forms-lib/96-0561.pdf

Jonathan Purcell is a California Attorney. This...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My Dad just passed and left me a house in a trust. What is my next step to obtain the house in my name?

Do I pay the mortgage until it is in my name? Or is it covered by his trustee?

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Sep 22, 2020

Sorry for your loss.

During life, most trusts are revocable, and there is no distinction between the revocable trust and the person, for tax purposes. After death, the trust becomes an irrevocable distinct entity, that will require a separate tax identity i.e. an EIN. The irrevocable...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My mother has land that she is trying to get placed into her name. The property is in my deceased grandmothers name

The land was left to my mom and her other two siblings. The two other siblings are deceased now and my mom wants to put the land in her name now to write her will. what documents and paperwork does she need to get this process going? Also she has more land that she has that is in my brother's... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Sep 15, 2020

To begin with you will need to gather together the testamentary documents (wills, trusts, and property deeds), pertaining to your deceased Grandmother and Uncle, and hire an attorney to review the documents, organize the information, and write a report on the current ownership of the properties,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Can successor co-trustees name successor trustees if this power isn't specifically given in the trust?

Settlors created the trust in 1988 naming themselves trustees and then their two adult children, a son and a daughter. The primary trust asset is property in California. The two "children" are now in their 80's. The daughter lives out of state and has never participated in the... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Aug 4, 2020

If the 'children' are mentally competent to the extent that they would understand that they are granting a power under the trust, and the trustees also have enumerated powers under the trust that include the power to engage an agent, or attorney-in-fact, (power of attorney); you might... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: If I reside in California but my family all live in Pennsylvania, in what state should I make out a Will?

I am a 50 year old woman living in California. I never married, have no kids and minimal assets (I own my car and have about $1000 in the bank). Both of my parents and my siblings all live in Pennsylvania. I'm starting the process of "getting my affairs in order" and think the first... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jul 27, 2020

Joint tenancy is a form of ownership that involves two or more owners. Upon the death of the first co-owner, the remaining portion of the property is transferred to the surviving owner(s) by law. A bank account may be owned in joint tenancy*. A car may also be owned in joint tenancy. At death... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: I have a house that I inherited that is in a trust, it still has a mortgage but I want to start using it as a rental.

I'm the trustee, Will I pay more in taxes if I claim it on my taxes, or should i get a ein for the trust and file it's own taxes and leave the house in the trust

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jul 20, 2020

Federal income tax rates for trusts are compressed. In 2020, trust net income that exceeds $12,950 is taxed at a rate of 37%.

Jonathan Purcell is a California Attorney. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: How to distribute of an estate?

A trust has all cash plus a primary house. Trust calls for equal distribution among 4 co-beneficiaries (same 4 are also co-trustees). House will not be sold. Option 1: Single beneficiary "A" takes house, and only house, no cash, as her sole share. Option 2: All beneficiaries take equal... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jul 14, 2020

There are private sources of money that provide liquidity for this type of situation.

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