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Steven Matlin Greenwood

Steven Greenwood’s Answers

95 total


  • Can the same atty handling Conservatorship also represent heirs in the Revocable Living Trust after death of conservatee?

    I'm not the Trustee or Executor & am unclear if there's an atty assigned who represents ALL the heirs? Parent passed away-4/12 & house in CA sold -10/'12. The conservatorship was supposed to be "closed" at this week's hearing. Brother's atty noti...

    Steven’s Answer

    The previous answers provide a good bit of input regarding your concerns. Let me add that though the attorney DOES represent your brother solely. Assuming, however, that your brother is the trustee of the trust in question, his FIDUCIARY duties extend to all of the beneficiaries of the trust, including you. As such he can be held personally liable for any wrongdoing that damages your interest. That having been said, trust administration can take longer than one might like. The reassessment by the SD assessor does not sound unusual; though you likely have an exemption that the attorney should explore. Filing of forms is very normal, even with a trust. I suggest patience here. Unless you have some reason to doubt the integrity of your brother and his attorney, you will receive your inheritance in due course. When received, you will likely get an accounting showing the disposition of all funds and can then decide if you've been treated fairly. Hope this helps.

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  • Grant deed will be recorded with right of personal occupancy for life; how is this removed after death?

    Transfer will be from parent to child with the parent right of personal occupancy for life. When the parent passes, what choice is selected on the preliminary change of ownership report? What other form is needed? This is for Los Angeles County...

    Steven’s Answer

    Both answers you have received are good advice, especially in relation to seeking legal counsel. Creating a life estate has several ramifications that must be considered before you move forward. It would be "Penny Wise and Pound Foolish" to proceed down this track without fully understanding all ramifications and seeking competent legal counsel to effectuate your decisions.

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  • Can a surviving grantor amend an irrevocable trust with approval from all beneficiaries under CA Probate Code Section 15404?

    A Living Trust divided into two parts following the death of one of the grantors: Trust A and Trust B. Trust A benefits the second wife upon passage of the surviving grantor. Trust B is irrevocable and is to go to the children upon the death of ...

    Steven’s Answer

    Though I don't have an immediate answer to your question directly, I would suggest that you revisit the language relating to distributions under Trust B. It would be very normal for the trustee of that trust to pay income to the surviving spouse and and even permit principle invasion. Take a very careful look; it might be modification is not necessary. Hope that helps.

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  • Not sure if we should challenge fathers trust?

    Our fathers trust was amended to include his caregiver. Before the caregiver amendment, not all children were to inherit evenly. Now the caregiver is to inherit 75 percent, and the children have a rest and residual clause that reads the reminder ...

    Steven’s Answer

    Not having any knowledge regarding this issue, I can't say whether this amendment is the result of undue influence. Assuming your father has the legal capacity to make the changes you've mentioned, they are valid, IF, no intervening issue invalidates it, e.g. fraud, undue influence, mistake, etc. The best protection you have against these possibilities is the LEGAL REQUIREMENT that in order for this amendment to take effect, your father must have an independent attorney review the requested changes and certify that your father has the legal capacity to make this change, and that no intervening issues are present. Needless to say, if an independent legal opinion/certification was NOT gotten, the amendment would not likely stand. Hope this helps.

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  • Deceased father resigned from Trust prior to his death. Sister & I are trustees. Have filed new EIN#. How do we close Trust?

    While we have seen a lawyer, we are still confused as to how to close accounts held in Trust.These inc. several CD's & a checking account. All debts except taxes have been paid. Is it as simple as depositing mature CD in Trust Checking Acct & then...

    Steven’s Answer

    There are a number of formalities that must be followed to assure the transfer of wealth and subsequent closure of a trust. The fact that you have seen an attorney on the matter and remained confused is not surprising. I suggest you seek legal counsel specializing is trust administration to assure you are properly moving forward on this matter. One wrong move could create trustee liability for losses; this could prove very costly. Good luck.

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  • As the wife of a beneficiary of his Moms trust estate, if the trust is transferred into an llc -what happens if my husband die

    The llc would be in the 3 beficiaries names(2 brothers & 1 sister who is trustee)- And what are the sisters duties as successor trustee re: monthly accounting of bank accts, etc. The llc would be made up of rental properties.

    Steven’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I'm a little confused by your question where you state "...if the trust is transferred into an llc." What is more likely is that the real estate (not the trust) will be transferred to the llc. Assuming this is the case, and your husband becomes a co-member of the llc, upon his passing his membership interest will likely flow in accordance with his will or living trust. Successor trustee duties are too numerous to detail here but there is a fiduciary duty owed by the successor trustee to the trust beneficiaries to act only in the best interests of the beneficiaries. I strongly suggest your husband seek legal counsel to assure his interests are protected and that the successor trustee performs all required duties.

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  • If I apply a lien against my Brother's house, if something happens to them, will it still be valid?

    The house has a living trust applied for their Daughter. They owe me $50,000.00. They have only a first mortgage, and have over $100,000 equity in their home. They will agree to the lien, but my question is, if something happens to them, will m...

    Steven’s Answer

    The simplest and straight forward manner of securing the $50,000 obligation is for your brother (and any other co-owner) to prepare and sign a deed of trust in your favor upon the property in question. This will assure that you will retain a security interest upon the real estate no matter who or when anyone passes away. The short answer to your question: YES, the lien will remain valid if "...something happens to them..." I suggest you seek legal counsel to assure the lien is properly crafted and recorded.

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  • Can the terms of my promissory note held in my father's trust be changed by a trust provision of which I was not aware?

    My recently deceased father issued a principal/interest promissory note to me to purchase a home in 2003. The maturity was "until the principal and interest were paid off". He then amended his trust stating the amount equal to the interest paid...

    Steven’s Answer

    When your father "issued" the promissory note, I'm going to assume it was in writing and that you signed it. As such, it cannot be unilaterally amended. Both sides to this contract/note must agree for it to be modified. His forgiveness of interest and principal reduction could be argued to be a testamentary gift; or conversely a unilateral unconsented to act. This change attempt would follow the same logic. Much would depend upon the actual terms of the original promissory note that you presumably signed. From what you've suggested however, I would argue the original note stands. I'd need more input for a more definitive answer. Hope that helps.

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  • The broker failed to disclose to me that the other Trustee's brokerage account was the payee on several "investments".

    The other Trustee was not a beneficiary of the Trust, only a family friend appointed by my deceased parents as a Trustee. The money for these supposed investments was transferred from the family trust account into this non-beneficiary Trustee's p...

    Steven’s Answer

    Though your fact statement does not provide enough info, before you assume malfeasance or breach of duty, you must review the trust document and seek an explanation from the prior trustee. Most trust documents provide for "reasonable" compensation for trustee services; the transfers could be just that. Do not just to conclusions; I would however seek clarification as suggested.

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  • My dad died, had living trust, still owes on house and is behind 2 payments, do I have to Pay. What do I tell the bank

    My dad died, he had a living trust, still owes on house, which goes to me and sister. Payment is behind 2 months, what should i tell the bank. Do I still pay

    Steven’s Answer

    Inform the bank of your father's passing. That might buy you some time. As for whether you should make the payments, this question must be asked and answered within the context of the bigger picture. Is there equity in the property? Are their other assets that might be affected? Was the loan in question purchase money or a refinance? Would it make sense to consider a work out or short sale? Unfortunately there is no easy answer to your question and I would suggest you immediately seek competent trust administration counsel to assist you in this situation.

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