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Maverick
Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6078
Experience:  20 years professional experience
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My grandfather had an irrevocable Family Trust since 1990

Customer Question

Hello,
My grandfather had an irrevocable Family Trust since 1990 after my grandmother passed away. He owned 2 properties at the time of his passing (4/5/2016). Their are 5 beneficiaries of this Family Trust. One of the beneficiaries was my aunt who was living with my grandfather, (her father), as his caregiver.
She had my grandfather put 1 of the properties in both of their names as joint tenants in 2012 without notifying any of the other beneficiaries (Document: "Intra-Family Transfer or Dissolution" Sale type: "Non-Arms Length Transfer.")
Three (3) months after he passed away, she had the property transferred solely in her name ("Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant"). She is now claiming the property as hers alone, and NOT as part of the Family Trust. Being that this property was part of the irrevocable Family Trust, is what she's doing legal?
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: She is trying to get the other beneficiaries to sign a waiver
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 6 months ago.

Welcome and thank you for your question. I will be the professional that will be assisting you.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Did I give enough info?
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 6 months ago.

When it comes to an Irrevocable Trust the only things that occur to the assets and real property in the trust are exactly what is set out in the terms of the Trust. Was the aunt the Trustee?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My Aunt. But she was also supposed to add my mother, her sister, as a Trustee ; which she refused to do after my grandfather requested it.
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 6 months ago.

Is she did not specifically follow the terms of the trust she is in breach of her fiduciary duty and the beneficiaries that have been harmed by her actions can file suit against her. This is a very serious matter and the courts do not tolerate this type of behavior.

"Probate Code Section 16420. (a) If a trustee commits a breach of trust, or threatens to commit a breach of trust, a beneficiary or co-trustee of the trust may commence a proceeding for any of the following purposes that is appropriate:

(1) To compel the trustee to perform the trustee's duties.

(2) To enjoin the trustee from committing a breach of trust.

(3) To compel the trustee to redress a breach of trust by payment of money or otherwise.

(4) To appoint a receiver or temporary trustee to take possession of the trust property and administer the trust.

(5) To remove the trustee.

(6) Subject to Section 18100, to set aside acts of the trustee. (7) To reduce or deny compensation of the trustee.

(8) Subject to Section 18100, to impose an equitable lien or a constructive trust on trust property.

(9) Subject to Section 18100, to trace trust property that has been wrongfully disposed of and recover the property or its proceeds.

(b) The provision of remedies for breach of trust in subdivision (a) does not prevent resort to any other appropriate remedy provided by statute or the common law.

16421. The remedies of a beneficiary against the trustee are exclusively in equity.

What can you get in the way of damages when there is a breach of trust by a California trustee? The California Probate Code also deals specifically with trust damages, or damages in a trust lawsuit. California Probate Code Section 16440(a) deals with damages for a trustee's breach of trust and is available for viewing without cost at:

The statutory law on trustee damages includes the following:

Probate Code Section 16440. (a) If the trustee commits a breach of trust, the trustee is chargeable with any of the following that is appropriate under the circumstances:

(1) Any loss or depreciation in value of the trust estate resulting from the breach of trust, with interest.

(2) Any profit made by the trustee through the breach of trust, with interest.

(3) Any profit that would have accrued to the trust estate if the loss of profit is the result of the breach of trust.

(b) If the trustee has acted reasonably and in good faith under the circumstances as known to the trustee, the court, in its discretion, may excuse the trustee in whole or in part from liability under subdivision (a) if it would be equitable to do so."

Where in CA was your grandfather residing at the time of his death so I can provide you with links for probate attorneys in that area that provide FREE consultations and can assist you with this matter in court?

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 6 months ago.

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter. It would be my pleasure to continue to assist you.

If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate. You do not need to provide a negative to obtain a refund. Thank you for your consideration.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
In Los Angeles County
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 6 months ago.

You aunt has some explaining to do. Here is a link http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/firm/probate-estate-administration/los-angeles/california

The State Bar Association can also refer reputable attorneys at http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/LawyerReferralServicesLRS.aspx

If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate. Thank you for using JA!

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She also didn't provide copies of the Trust / Will when asked repeatedly by other beneficiaries
They didn't get a copy until the attorney sent a waiver to be signed by all the beneficiaries last month.
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 6 months ago.

Now she will need to comply and there will be an attorney representing the beneficiaries she tried to cheat. Very bad move on her part. She seems to think she can do whatever she wants and that is not the case.

The only way the attorneys receive credit for our time and work is if the customer rates us positively. Thank you for your consideration.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Can I submit to you the Trust documents for you to review?
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 6 months ago.

You will want to provide those to the attorney that you set up a consultation with. You can attach them if you want me to look at them, however, there would be an additional service fee, If you would like to attach them I would review them for you.

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 6 months ago.

Are you still with me?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
but at a veterinarian right now.
I will respond ASAP ������
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 6 months ago.

When you are ready to continue please accept the services. If you don't want to pay an additional fee for the documents please feel free to rate my service and ignore the request.

We are on the honor system on this site we answer question questions in good faith and cannot force the customers to accept our responses to be receive credit.

Hope all went well at the vet.

Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer! My name is Maverick. Please give me a few minutes to review, analyze and/or research your inquiry and I will be back. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

Please upload the trust document and state the specific question you want answered. We do document review under our premium services offer and the cost is $59.00. Please Note: (1) Just Answer’s site disclaimers apply to all levels of service.

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