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California Estate Planning Questions & Answers
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...
Read more »

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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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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I have a 30% stake on a trust from my aunt who recently pass away.

The executor is using funds from the trust to improve the house that is part of the trust so she can sell the house to her sister. Since I have 30% stake on this, what it my legal standing on this? Can I ask the executor to cease and stop what she is doing and just divide up the trust immediately... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Aug 31, 2021

It depends on what the trust says. The trustee must follow the terms of the trust, but some trusts give the trustee discretion to act in certain ways. Give a copy of the trust to a lawyer in your area and he/she/they can advise you on your rights.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: How to move past trust administration delays?

My parents passed away just over a year ago in August 2020. My sister is the trustee and I am just a beneficiary. She hired an attorney and we are near the last stage of closing the trust. The law firm is in the process of putting together the accounting and keep telling my sister that... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Aug 30, 2021

Your sister needs to tell the law firm exactly what you said here, i.e., that they are the cause of the delay and she needs the document by the end of the day tomorrow. Other than that, your sister can just show up at the law firm and take a chance that they're open (due to COVID many people... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: If it's just me and my brother and I'm not included in the will, am I entitled to any of the estate?

It's just me and my brother and at one point I was excluded from the will. After my father passed I moved in with my mother and took care of her for well over a year. She couldn't walk or anything and I barely left her side. She suddenly passed recently from an aneurysm and when we went... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Aug 30, 2021

It's possible, but here is no way to answer your question based on the facts you gave us. There will be a presumption that you are not inheriting anything because that is what the will says. However, you can get around that presumption if you can PROVE in court that your mother intended for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What happens if the grantee dies before the grantor?
Julie King
Julie King answered on Aug 23, 2021

I'm not sure what type of legal document you have, so it is hard to answer your question. I'll guess that you are asking what happens when a beneficiary of a trust passes away before the settlor (the person who sets up the trust.) In that case -- as with most situations -- the trust... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Lawyers hired by Probate Executor...

In will, the deceased named a non-family friend executor of will. The executor hired a law firm for probate.

Does the law firm have fiduciary responsibility to the Executor or to estate (beneficiaries of) ?

Does the family have recourse if they feel process (actions taken by the... Read more »

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Aug 18, 2021

Attorneys for the executor are not fiduciaries. Attorneys for the executor get paid from the estate but only after court approval of their fees. Any beneficiary of the estate can file their objections to the reasonableness of the fee request. Statutory fees are reasonable by law.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My stepdad passed away, he has a will. The estate lawyer wants to meet my mother to go over things, is that still needed

The lawyer wants to go over materials things, as well as discuss any contents my mother had with my stepdad while he was alive (verbal discussions); will that hurt her (in terms of what she will be getting)? She hasn't seen any copies of the will/trust and I am afraid what she says might do... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Aug 30, 2021

There are a number of tasks that must be done after someone passes away, including a formal written notice that must be sent to beneficiaries with specific legal language. Most people do not know what to write or to whom the notice must go. Lawyers can tell your mother all of the tasks she must do,... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: I had a sister who lived in California recently passed away. husband two sons . large estate . As half brother

Am I entitled to any part of the estate

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 13, 2021

If your sister did not leave you anything in her will, then no. If your sister did not have a will then her estate passes according to the laws of intestate succession pursuant to which very likely everything will pass to her husband but if she had any separate property then her children will... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: When a person die and had a trust set up with a Lawyer do the lawyer contact if you our part of trust in California
Ivette Santaella
Ivette Santaella answered on Aug 12, 2021

Hello,

Whoever is the named successor Trustee is tasked with advising you and providing you with a copy of the trust.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for California on
Q: Can I collected property from brother who is living and has signed will over to his stepson? Brothers wife is deceased.

Step son have power of attorney over medical but brother can sign for his own finances as far as he knows. I’m in California and he is Alaska living with them. He is not happy because they are controlling him.

Ivette Santaella
Ivette Santaella answered on Aug 10, 2021

Hello,

Only if he names you his agent in the DPOA. If he feels that they are abusing him he should contact adult protective services in Alaska.

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