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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 22691
Experience:  14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
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my dad passed away a year ago. He had a trust that my brother

Customer Question

my dad passed away a year ago. He had a trust that my brother and I are executors of. There are four siblings. We had to go to court and get all the accounts put into the trust and then we began liqudating. When we went to the bank to open the trust account, one of the accounts listed my brother as the benfaciary. When the bank associate asked John what he wanted to do, he said open the trust with the money. We did and know he's saying that 50,000 is his and he doesn't want to disburse it to the rest of us. When we filled the trust last April that account was listed as one that belonged in the trust. John and I both signed the court document saying we knew those accounts were supposed to be in the trust. Now he's refusing to close the estate unless I sign the 50,000 over to him to give to some charities he believes in. I know he was the beneficiary but he put the money in the trust and also signed the documents that the account should be in the trust. No one at the time realized John was the beneficiary on that account. Can you help me? Also, I live in California.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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From a purely legal perspective, John would have been the sole owner of the $50K in the account when father passed away and would have had no legal aobligation to place it into the trust account.
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When a trust account was opened up and he placed the money into it, he would have been considered to have made a gift to the trust account and that money would then be subject to the terms of the trust and how assets that were owned by the trust would then be distributed.
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Since the money was listed as a trust asset in the accountings and he signed off acknowledging that to be the case, then legally he would not have any further claim to those funds.
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But from an equitable and a fairness viewpoint, if he never intended to gift the money to the trust, then it should be returned to him as it was essentially a loan from him to the trust to get the trust account opened and it was included by mistake.
.
.
Thanks
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 22691
Experience: 14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
Barrister and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

It said in the legal papers that no one in the trust had interest in the cd account. We were all surprised when dad had listed anyone as a benf, the trust he made up in 2011 said he gives his four children equal shares in all the accounts which included this cd. John did not make it a gift. When we went to the bank and the bank person asked John what to do with the money he said add it to the trust account. He's mad at me and this is a power play. I just want to know if I have legal rights to that money because he signed the trust saying he didn't have any sole interest in any of the accounts. It was not a gift!

Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
I just want to know if I have legal rights to that money because he signed the trust saying he didn't have any sole interest in any of the accounts.
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Yes, legally the money belongs to the trust now so whatever the trust says to do with trust assets is what has to be done with that money as well. If it says split it 4 ways between the children, then the $50K would get split 4 ways along with everything else.
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I can't say why father listed him as a beneficiary on the account, but presumably it was so that he would have that money separately. But when he put it into the trust account brother would be deemed to have made a gift to the trust. And when someone makes a gift, there is no getting it back...
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Thanks
Barrister

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