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Questions Answered by Rebecca Sommer
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Does a Trustee have to get a beneficiary's permission to make capital expenditures from the a Special Needs trust?

My wife is beneficiary of a Special Needs trust. The Trustee has been spending money on property upgrades for a house that belongs to the trust without consulting my wife.

The upgrades are done at the behest of the other beneficiary, my brother-in-law, who occupies the house alone.

Rebecca Sommer
Rebecca Sommer
answered on Dec 9, 2022

The trust documents should have the answer to this question as they dictate the powers of the trustee as well as how funds are to be used.

An experienced estate planning lawyer could likely answer this question in minutes if you provide them with a copy of the trust documents.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: What are the steps I need to take to obtain funds from my daughters trust account as the trustee.

My daughter received a settlement last year in the amount of 6500

The court had these funds placed into a trust account

They had me set up the trust account at union bank with me as the trustee and her as the beneficiary

With the document stating the funds cannot be... View More

Rebecca Sommer
Rebecca Sommer
answered on Oct 26, 2022

You will need to look at the court and trust documents to see what is permitted and follow those documents. They may also dictate whether you can change the custodian of the money or not. If you are having difficulty interpreting the court's order and/or trust documents, you may need to... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I’m inheriting my parents home, do I need a will prior, or can I do it later when the home is in my name?

I do not have children, I’m Single, I live in California.

Rebecca Sommer
Rebecca Sommer
answered on Oct 24, 2022

Some additional information is needed to fully answer your question - are your parents still alive? How does their will/trust distribute the house if you predecease them? Etc. I can still give you some general information however.

If you do not do a will then the assets will pass by...
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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: I am the last surviving member of my family, do I need to share my inheritance with my parents grandchildren?
Rebecca Sommer
Rebecca Sommer
answered on Sep 19, 2022

This question is a little confusing so I'll do my best to answer the different ways it could be interpreted.

If you're asking if you have to leave your own personal estate to your parents grandchildren, the answer is no. You can choose to leave your estate to whoever you want, but...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Does a beneficiary have equity rights to insurance settlement proceeds received by the estate prior to grantors dea

In California a gift (a classic car) is granted via living trust, then is totally destroyed in a fire before the grantors death whereby a $39,000 insurance claim is paid to the grantor/estate. Subsequently the trust is not amended still reflecting the gift to the beneficiary at the grantors time... View More

Rebecca Sommer
Rebecca Sommer
answered on Sep 12, 2022

The outcome will depend on the language in the trust document providing the gift. Generally, if a specifically listed item is given to a specific person, if the item no longer exists at the time of the decedent's death, then the gift fails. For example, "To my niece MARY SMITH I give my... View More

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