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California Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Health Care Law for California on
Q: Can someone be the healthcare advance directive and handle the estate of a patient?

Can someone be the advanced healthcare directive and also be the appointed person to handle the patients estate/will?

The patience is being given seizure medicine daily. He cannot recall things that happened the same day and get names.locations and dates confused.

Is this legally allowed?

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Feb 2, 2023

A natural person cannot be an advance healthcare directive because that is a legal document and people are not legal documents, but a natural person could serve as the person appointed as health care agent under an advance healthcare directive or medical power of attorney. The same person serving... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My mom wants to give me the house but make a clause that I have to let brother live with me and pay bills can she do tha

Can mom make me take care of brother

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Your mother can do whatever she wants and, according to the law, she needs to be the one to prepare her Trust or Will however she wants. If a beneficiary is not interested in taking care of a sibling, it would be better to put that sibling's inheritance in a trust that someone else (a friend... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: My father lives in California, n owns 4 acres in Antwerp, New York, He wants to Will it to me. Should he? Or a diff way?

Basically my father wants to leave the property he has in New York State to me in a Will, 4 acres, 2 to me and 2 acres to his stepson and Step Daughter. What I would like to know if it is best to Will it to us or if there is another way we should be handling it before he passes on? I and him live... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
answered on Jan 28, 2023

Most people will benefit from a Living Trust, coupled with a "pour over" Will (it pours your stuff over into the Trust -- I did NOT invent that name myself). A Trust allows you to plan your estate without it going through the Probate process after your death (even a modest estate without... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: My father lives in California, n owns 4 acres in Antwerp, New York, He wants to Will it to me. Should he? Or a diff way?

Basically my father wants to leave the property he has in New York State to me in a Will, 4 acres, 2 to me and 2 acres to his stepson and Step Daughter. What I would like to know if it is best to Will it to us or if there is another way we should be handling it before he passes on? I and him live... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
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Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 29, 2023

Greetings Chico. I agree with the other attorneys' answers, however, I wanted to add that your father can execute and record a new deed adding you as a joint tenant with the right of survivorship. If you survive your father, then you will become the sole owner after recording a Affidavit of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Recourse trust not completed as requested.

Four months after I presented a schedule B to be added to my trust and repeatedly said I did not want it in the body of the trust, I signed the final copy with the schedule B in the body because the attorney said it could otherwise be lost. There had been no discussion about it being in the body.... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Jan 28, 2023

Whether language is contained in the body of a document or in an attachment that is incorporated into the body makes no difference from a legal standpoint. It’s all part of the same document. Yes, your lawyer should have honored your request to draft the document the way you wanted it. But... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My brother in law and husband inherited their mothers home.

They are not selling it at present. They both own it as joint tenancy. So basically if one dies the other automatically owns it. But my husband wants his half to go to our kids. Would a living trust simply stating his wants be enough to over ride the joint tenancy? And would he need to make the... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Howard E. Kane
answered on Jan 27, 2023

As a first step, I recommend severing the joint tenancy by filing a tenancy in common (TIC) deed. The next step is to create a living trust and then fund the trust with the property by way of a trust transfer deed. This will insure a smooth transfer of the property without probate to your kids... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for California on
Q: Parents left land to the three siblings . Brother was executor. He suddenly past away without transferring into my name

I was told taxes were paid out of family trust, I have resided on this property for 15 years . My brother and sister were suppose to be signing me as sole ownerbut My brother unexpectedly passed away and he never switched into my name. He told me the property taxes were all paid but I found out... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 27, 2023

If your brother died prior to closing the estate, whomever is named as the alternate executor in the Will needs to apply to be named as executor to handle whatever tasks remain to be completed.

If the family trust is obligated by the trust instrument to pay the taxes, you should approach...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I asked escrow to distribute funds separately, but they said funds could only be released to the trust.

My mother has been ruled incompetent, and I am one of four siblings who share a quarter of a living trust. Four of the four siblings have the power of attorney. 3 out of 4 siblings, including myself, are successor trustees as of 7 years ago. We're selling a property in Los Angeles for $12... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Jan 23, 2023

I will start by saying this: You really need to get the assistance of an estate planning lawyer because it does not appear that you understand how trusts work or what your mother's trust says. First, I don't know any lawyer who would write a trust with four people named as successor... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: Quick claim deed left to mom by her father and both have passed.but her brother lived in house until his death he paid

The taxes but never changed the deed dose he and his children now own the house.and if not what do her children do now

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Jan 21, 2023

There is an area of law called “squatter’s rights”, which allows people who continuously live by themselves in vacant property for a certain period of time to apply for ownership. Each state has different rules and requirements to gain ownership. It’s hard to tell if these laws apply to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for California on
Q: I have 3 units rental property in California. The property owned by a corporation in Nevada. I'm a single owner of

the corporation. Can I transfer the property in to my trust in ca without any tax consequences.

Do I need to create trust before transferring

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Jan 21, 2023

Anyone can place their real estate and other assets into a revocable trust (a trust that can be changed or modified by the owner, who is called a Settlor or Trustor) at any time and there shouldn’t be any tax consequences. Schedule A to the trust should list the corporation as an asset of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: parents bought a property joint tenants, parents divorced, dad rec'd property, never changed deed, died, does mom get it
Joshua D. Brysk
Joshua D. Brysk PRO label
answered on Jan 19, 2023

We'll start with the deed. With the joint tenancy, when Dad dies, the survivor (Mom) gets the property. However, if Dad received an order or judgment in the divorce which said the property will be solely his, that should be enforced to reform the title [removing Mom]. Now who gets it? It... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: what form should be filed in probate case to inform judge of new discovery

trust creator specified in trust that if benificiary prdeceases distribution than it passes to his issues

Joshua D. Brysk
Joshua D. Brysk PRO label
answered on Jan 19, 2023

If you want a document (like a trust) to be included in evidence, it can be submitted as an exhibit to a declaration. The declaration should be in conjunction with a motion, application, hearing or proceeding of some type. You might want to consult a local attorney for more explanation.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: If the beneficiary in my family trust gets sued in a civil case and loses can the assets be used to satisfy the judgemen

Also can I legally change the family trust to remove them as a beneficiary once legal proceedings have started? Or is that grounds for accusing me of shielding assets improperly? Also so far there are no distributions being given to my beneficiaries.

Joshua D. Brysk
Joshua D. Brysk PRO label
answered on Jan 19, 2023

Your beneficiary only has a theoretical right to a future benefit. You have the right to change or remove your beneficiaries (and shares) at any time and regardless of the reasons, including keeping assets from their creditors. Also, a trust attorney could help you modify your trust so that the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for California on
Q: Parent declared " unable to direct personal and financial affairs.

Parents creates a DPOA.

Later on in life 2 doctors state in writing "unable to direct personal and financial affairs."

Later, parent tells other child " can you help me remove her as DPOA." Because parent and DPOA had arguement about healthcare.

Sibling... Read more »

Joshua D. Brysk
Joshua D. Brysk PRO label
answered on Jan 19, 2023

If the parent needs protection to avoid others taking advantage, the best course is a conservatorship. The conservatorship will supplant any powers of attorney and provide additional powers to the conservator. Otherwise, you can litigate to invalidate any new DPOAs on the basis of incapacity.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Can I remove a beneficiary on my family trust if he’s involved in a lawsuit?

If a beneficiary on my revocable family trust is currently involved in a civil lawsuit can I remove them from the family trust? Or would a court consider this as trying to hide assets from creditors?

Ravi Patel
Ravi Patel
answered on Jan 14, 2023

A revocable trust can be amended at any time for any reason. Most trust also have "spendthrift" terms that clarify that a beneficiary's' "share" is not available to creditors until it is actually distributed to them. If your trust has that kind of term, you would... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Small Claims for California on
Q: collect a court order debt in small claim from the deceased access or estate. Court Advisor me to file correct form

I do Not Know What Form to file to continue collecting the debt owed to me

Julie King
Julie King
answered on Jan 16, 2023

It’s hard to know what you need. Most courts have a self-help center that can assist you with what form to use, but they cannot advise you after that because the people working there are not lawyers. Start there because it’s free. If you still need help after that, you’ll need to hire a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Small Claims for California on
Q: collect a court order debt in small claim from the deceased access or estate. Court Advisor me to file correct form

I do Not Know What Form to file to continue collecting the debt owed to me

Ravi Patel
Ravi Patel
answered on Jan 14, 2023

Your question is not entirely clear, but it seems like you may need to file a "creditors claim" if the decedent has a probate open. If not, you may have to open a probate for them. But that could be more of a hassle and expense than you really want.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Are all named beneficiaries entitled to receive their own copy of the trust deed once the trustor has passed away?

My grandmother had a revocable living trust in place and has recently passed away. She designated a friend as her successor trustee and named my father and my uncle, and all four of her grandchildren as beneficiaries in the trust deed. I've not actually seen the document, but I'm told it... Read more »

Ravi Patel
Ravi Patel
answered on Jan 14, 2023

If you are a named beneficiary of the Trust, even just 1%, then you are entitled to a copy of the full terms of the trust terms upon request. I would suggest making a written request, ideally by e-mail or letter, and then consulting an attorney if the trustee continues to refuse.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Parents have a revokable trust which states if a child of theirs dies that share goes to remaining living children.

Her son insists that he should get her share. Dad is still living and won't change trust. Can my nephew dispute the trust after my dad passes.?

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jan 8, 2023

The plan of distribution you have described is perfectly legitimate and rather common. The nephew would not be able to challenge is just because he does not like it. To challenge it he would have to prove that the parents (makers of the trust) were not of their right mind when they signed the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Health Care Law for California on
Q: I am 80 yrs old and without friends, family, or church to see to my last wishes when the time comes. Do lawyers do that?

No doctor either. I"m with Kaiser Permanente and their doctors don't keep track of what patients they have. I have a will but no one to carry out any end of life wishes.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Jan 7, 2023

A California attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. Yes, lawyers do handle such matters. Your question probably went unnoticed in the general Uncategorized heading. There are lawyers who work with living wills, DNRs, and related issues. You could repost your... Read more »

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