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California Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Jack and Jill transfer property to Jack and jill as trustees and then again as individuals to Trustees of later Trust

Jack and Jill transfer property to Jack and Jill has Trustees of 2005 trust later jack-and-jill transfer to Jack and Jill as Trustees of 2010 Trust which trust is the property in is any corrective action necessary where would the hang-up be at the title company the recorder the Assessor and does... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Oct 15, 2021

It sounds like only the first deed is valid. Jack & Jill were not the owners as individuals at the time of the second execution, that is, if the second transfer was as individuals as you imply.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Don't want "per stipes"use in my online purchased Living Trust. All offspring in my sons' marriages are step-children.

I want wives to receive disbursements if sons pass.

Julie King
Julie King answered on Oct 12, 2021

You can do that. Just have a trust amendment prepared to change the terms of your trust. Easy peasy -- assuming your trust is revocable (meaning changeable and dissolvable.) If the trust is irrevocable (not changeable except in certain very specific circumstances), it will take some advanced estate... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Does"per stirpes" always means proceeds do not pass to wives?

for Living Trust

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane answered on Oct 12, 2021

Per stirpes is a Latin phrase that translates literally to “by roots” or “by branch.” In the estate administration context, a per stirpes distribution means that a beneficiary's share passes to their lineal descendants if the beneficiary dies before the inheritance vests. For... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: What can I do to keep my cousin from being the Admin for my grandmother estate? She has 4 living sons and I rep. my dad

My father passed away in 2011 and my grandmother in 2020 she left no will and my cousin who's father is still living and married is trying to become the administrator for my grandmother's estate. She had no will and 4 living sons. She wants to sell her house and we want to stop her. the... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane answered on Oct 12, 2021

I recommend that you file a written objection with the court as soon as possible. I also recommend that you attend the court hearing to make sure that your objection is heard. In addition, if the appointed administrator has full authority and decides to sell the house, then you will still have... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Can a spousal property petition override rules of succession in California?

My mom bought her house before she married my stepdad and then added him to the deed without right of survivorship 15 years after they were married. They were married for 25 years. My mom then died without a will. If my stepdad files a spousal property petition, could he be granted my share of my... Read more »

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Oct 11, 2021

It would be helpful to have some additional information, including exactly how the deed adding your stepdad was titled, as well as how long they were married. Assuming you are the only child, you would be entitled to fifty percent of your Mom's separate property and that would have to be... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Do I own my dad's share of his home after he passed with a transfer on death deed or does it go to his widow?

I have a transfer on death dead for my dad and a separate one for my stepmom. They are joint owners of a home and I am the sole beneficiary for both. My dad passed away. Do I now own his 50% share of the home or is his share now owned by his widow?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 6, 2021

It is not possible to answer your question without seeing exactly how title was held by your dad and stepmom. If they truly held title jointly with right of survivorship, then your stepmom now owns the home. If the TOD to you remains in place until she dies, then you will own it when she dies.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: If a will indicates beneficiaries who predecease the testatrix, who is the lawful distributes to the estate?

B (NY) left her estate to two sisters; A (NY) and M (FL). The sisters both predeceased B. Beneficiaries to A's estate are her two children (NY). The beneficiaries to M's estate are brother P (CA), and niece, J (FL). P is the last living sibling to B, A, and M.

Julie King
Julie King answered on Oct 5, 2021

Most Trusts and WIlls contain language stating who will receive a particular gift if the beneficiary passes away before the person who set up the Trust ("settlor" or "grantor") or Will. If your document contains this type of language, then whatever it says will be what happens.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can trustee of trust a directly transfer property into trust b?

Jack as trustee of trust A conveys property to jack as trustee of trust B?

Julie King
Julie King answered on Oct 3, 2021

I believe this is your third question about your grant deeds. I suggest you go to a lawyer and get your situation handled properly rather than try to piece together various lawyers’ advice. But to answer your question, it is possible to transfer property from one trust to another, but not in all... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for California on
Q: Trustee grantor conveys property in individual capacity . Can he use corrective deed to convey as trustee of property

Jack conveys property to beneficiary instead of jack as trustee of said trust. Can he file corrective deed to validate transaction as of date of original deed?

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane answered on Oct 3, 2021

Yes. A corrective deed will most likely clear up the defect in the first transfer. I'd recommend having an attorney handle the preparation of the corrective Deed.

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Grantor conveys property into trust a. Later conveys into trust b without revoking a.

Is the property in a or b. If still in trust a, does subsequent deed conveying trust into trust b affect title chain..can it be left recorded as is or is there some type of procedure needs to be done

Julie King
Julie King answered on Oct 3, 2021

The answer to your question depends on the language in your specific deeds. If the grantor is still alive and has a revocable trust, it’s possible the property could be in either trust. Some people have more than one trust (for example, a separate property trust and a community property trust)... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Property is in trust. Trustees as individuals then quitclaim it to their daughter. Who owns

Trust transfer deed "jack and jill transfer to jack and jill as trustees of jack and jill trust" quitclaim deed "jack and jill transfer to daughter

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Oct 2, 2021

The trust still owns the property. The deed from them, as individuals, rather than trustees, did not convey good title to their daughter, because they, as individuals, did not own the property.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My brother recently died, him and his wife have been separated for about a year now, is she entitled to everything?

There is no will. She started the divorce paperwork but didn't finalize anything. Is she entitled to everything. My brother does have a daughter.

Julie King
Julie King answered on Sep 23, 2021

It depends on whether your brother had a trust or will. Since the divorce was not final, she will definitely be entitled to something. But, whether she gets everything will depend on the language in the trust or will, if there was one in place. Otherwise, if your brother had assets totalling more... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: W hat to do when my mother has passed away and father has not given me a copy of the trust

My mother and father set up a trust my mother passed away of cancer in May of 2020 starting it was irrevocable but as of today my brother and I have not received a copy of the trust since then my father has remarried in June of 2021 and have no idea of how to go about getting a copy from him... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane answered on Sep 22, 2021

I'm sorry to hear about your mom. You shouldn't feel bad about asking your dad for a copy of the Trust document since you are clearly entitled to a copy. Under California law (Probate Code section 16061.7) every Trust beneficiary, and every heir-at-law of the decedent, is entitled to... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I created a trust and put my assets in it (mutual funds) when I went to prison.

I'm out. And I would like to close or end or dissolve the trust, basically my buddy does not want to manage the trust now that I am out. What steps do I need to take. The trust was formed in CA.

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Sep 20, 2021

If you want to terminate (revoke) the trust, just sign a simple letter to the trustee which says you hereby revoke the trust and to return all trust property to your management and control. If you want to keep the trust and simply change the trustee of the trust (from your buddy to you), again, a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Can I allocate my trust benefits to another sibling?

I want to give my benefits to another sibling without receiving distribution. Can I sign it over by filling out an alternate payee or similar form with estate attorney?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 20, 2021

The easiest way for you to accomplish your goal would be to just accept distributions and then gift like amounts to your sibling. Be sure to talk with your tax advisor first about the gift tax consequences and talk to your attorney about the Medicaid penalty consequences.

Even if you were...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Can the sole beneficiary of a revocable trust in CA also be the sole trustee (grantor is another person)?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 13, 2021

Yes, that is entirely possible, but there are pros and cons to that structure. Whether that is a suitable structure for your purposes is something you should discuss with an experienced estate planning attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Do I need a living trust if the beneficiary is already in the property title?

I have a couple of homes. One is paid for; the second one is about half the way through the loan life. My wife is on both titles, but I am the loan borrower alone.

I want to create a living trust. Does she need to be named if she is in the title already? We (wife and I) have a son; can I... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Sep 12, 2021

Contemplating the post mortem disposition of your two properties , is important, and I encourage you to continue down this path,

but I believe you would be better served by engaging in

a comprehensive estate plan with an estate planning attorney.

The information presented...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Transferring a home from an elder parent to an adult child

My 80+ year old parents own 2 homes. They live in one of the homes, I live in their second home, and have lived here for 28 years. I have always paid them "rent." The home I live in is paid off. My parents' will states that all of their assets are to be split between my sister and I... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Sep 10, 2021

Your parents need to work with their estate planning attorney. Giving you the home now, while they are alive, is not the best way to go from a tax perspective. If you wait to get the home after your parents pass away, your parents will save a lot of money in taxes -- that is, unless the law changes... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: How do I make sure when my elderly father passes away that my sister doesn't take all of his assets and keep them
Carol A Fauerbach
Carol A Fauerbach answered on Sep 6, 2021

As long as your father is not incapacitated, an attorney can assist him in preparing a Will or Revocable Living Trust to allow him to designated how his property would be distributed if he were to pass away. Advance Health Care Directive and Durable Power of Attorney documents are also important... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I filled out a Will online and printed out all of my forms My legal question is I would like to know In the The state of

California what parts need nortization it includes a health care directive POA finance/health direction pages is a little unclear station it’s optional.

Julie King
Julie King answered on Sep 1, 2021

A lot of estate planning documents online are faulty, so it is always best to have a lawyer prepare your documents. I know that sounds self-serving but, just yesterday, I met with a person who drafted her own trust and amended it several times on her own. She ended up creating four different trusts... Read more »

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