Sacramento, CA asked in Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for California

Q: If a person is the successor trustee of a trust that was written by said person who also is sole beneficiary. Takes pape

Rwork to be signed in nursing home that he put her in. Had access to everything in the house as in her whole life and made it all his. She had no family. And then there's me. The only one there for three years cleaning shopping driving her places and he hasn't once reached ut to me. She told me that she didn't sign anything and she'd be leaving me money. She died four days after her house was transfered to a trust in her name to his address. He even gave her cat away who me she loved dearly so I wouldn't need to go and feed her. Erased my name from her phone then didn't pay the bill. He's done this before with other people's trusts

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In this situation, it appears there are concerns about the legitimacy of the actions taken by the successor trustee and potential undue influence or exploitation of the trustor. In California, the law requires that a trustee act in the best interest of the trust and its beneficiaries.

Firstly, if the trustor expressed intentions to leave you something, and you believe the trustor did not willingly or knowingly sign the trust documents, it might be a case of undue influence or lack of capacity. This needs to be legally examined.

You should consider consulting with an attorney experienced in trust and estate litigation. They can help investigate the circumstances under which the trust was amended and determine if there were any irregularities or legal violations.

Additionally, if there's evidence suggesting that the trustee has a history of similar behavior with other trusts, this could be significant. An attorney can help gather this information and use it to support your case.

It's important to act promptly since the trustor has already passed away and the assets seem to have been transferred. Legal intervention might be necessary to protect the trustor's original intentions and ensure fair and lawful management of the trust.

Klaus Gottlieb agrees with this answer

Klaus Gottlieb
Klaus Gottlieb pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It appears you are describing a situation involving a trust and a successor trustee, who also happens to be the sole beneficiary. Here are some pointers:

Trustee's Job: The person who took over the trust (the successor trustee) has to do what's best for the person who made the trust (the beneficiary). If they don't, they might be breaking the rules of being a trustee.

Understanding and Agreement: If the person who made the trust was in a nursing home and maybe didn't understand what they were signing, then what they signed might not be valid.

Pressure and Elder Abuse: The situation sounds like the trustee might have unfairly influenced or taken advantage of the person in the nursing home, especially if they made decisions that were good for them but not for the person who made the trust.

Your Part: If you were promised money by the person who passed away and you helped take care of them, you might have some rights. But promises that were just spoken can be hard to prove.

Taking Action: If you think the trustee did something wrong, like not managing the trust right or pressuring the person who made the trust, you might be able to challenge what they did. This could mean going to court.

Get Legal Help: This situation is complicated, so it's important to talk to a lawyer who knows about trusts and estates. They can look at everything that happened and tell you what you can do.

Every trust and estate situation is different, and the details really matter. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and what steps you can take next.

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