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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 116702
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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I have recently been declared disabled due to severe PTSD

Customer Question

I have recently been declared disabled due to severe PTSD from childhood trauma. My doctor has recommended a companion animal. The cost of a golden retriever and start up costs, crate, vet care, and other misc is $1500. There is $72,000 in my fathers savings (all bills are paid) and we are receiving $5000 a month in rent to the estate. My sister is refusing to help me with this money. I have not worked in 2 years and what distribution that was made over a year ago was $15,000 and I have been living on this money for over a year. Do I have any rights?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Is this a trust or was it a will and she has just not made full distribution?

What does the will/trust say about distributing money to you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is a trust and not specific on distribution. The house is in escrow.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is in California, Placer County
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

If the trust is not specific on distribution, then distribution by CA law is left to the sole discretion of the trustee. If the trustee is not properly managing the trust and is not following the terms of the trust then the trustee may be removed. However, if the trustee is following the terms of the trust, then under CA law all that the trustee has to distribute is any interest or income of the trust each year to the beneficiaries. So, legally, the only thing that the trustee can be forced to do, if the trust does not mandate distribution, is make annual distributions of income to the beneficiaries.

If the trustee is not doing at least that, then you would be able to file suit to seek to remove the trustee. Other than that, the CA law puts the beneficiaries at the mercy of the trustee for other distributions from the trust if the trust is silent as to those distributions being mandatory.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your answer - I had read under Calif State Statues that if a beneficiary had a need and the money was available the trustee had to distribute. However I can't find the statue at this time.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

The trustee has to distribute it if the trust calls for such a distribution. The trustee is not forced to make distribution under the CA code unless the trust calls for it.