Janet Lee Brewer’s Answers

Janet Lee Brewer

Palo Alto Estate Planning Attorney.

Contributor Level 17
  1. If a beneficary of a trust is living in a home that is to be theirs upon death, can the trustee evict them before that death?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Janet Lee Brewer
    2. Robert Jan Suhajda
    3. Frank Wei-Hong Chen
    3 lawyer answers

    As long as your mother is alive, all of the houses are hers. You are a tenant (whether you're paying rent or not). Tenants can be evicted, but the person doing the eviction must follow proper legal procedures. It seems to me you need to decide what will be uglier - dealing with an eviction or filing an action to have your brother removed as trustee of your mother's trust for "malfeasance" (not because he's evicting you but because he's spending your mother's money as if it were his own!)....

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. Mother passed 3 months ago. Assets are in a trust & I am trustee. How much can I pay myself for administration of the trust?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Janet Lee Brewer
    2. James P. Frederick
    3. Brian Coleman Kelly
    4. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    4 lawyer answers

    California has a set fee for probate, but not for trust administration. If the trust does not set a fee, then you are entitled to "reasonable" fees for administering the trust. Reasonable fees can vary - anywhere from $15 or $20 per hour to $150 per hour or even 1% of the value of the assets in the trust estate. What is reasonable depends on a number of very subjective factors, including your experience (so a professional trustee is probably entitled to more $/hr. than a family member...

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  3. Living trust verse a revocable trust.

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Janet Lee Brewer
    2. Samuel Bruce Ledwitz
    3. Cecilia A Tsang
    3 lawyer answers

    A "living" trust only means that the trust came into effect when the person who set the trust up was alive (vs. a "testamentary" trust which comes into effect after the person setting it up has died - that is, it's a trust created in a person's last will and testament). So either a revocable trust or an irrevocable trust can be a "living" trust. A revocable trust gives the person who made it the right to make changes in the trust - who gets what and when they get it. If assets are held...

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  4. My friend named me as his sole beneficiary, he had over 100,000.00 in the bank do i need to open probate? no POD/TOD on account

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Janet Lee Brewer
    2. Roberta Peters Clark
    3. Henry Daniel Lively
    4. Michael G Stuart
    4 lawyer answers

    If your friend's estate was worth more than $100,000 then you will need to probate it. You will need to file a Petition for Probate in the county where he died, send notice to everyone named in the will and also to his daughter. The Court will need to appoint you as the executor of his estate (his will merely "nominates" you; only a Judge can appoint you). You will then be subject to all of the regular California probate rules (4 month wait, duty to notify creditors, etc.). It's possible...

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  5. How long does it take for the court to issue letters after our probate hearing?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Edward Warren Goodson
    2. Janet Lee Brewer
    3. Eric Jerome Gold
    3 lawyer answers

    Mr. Goodson is correct on all counts. You're already running into problems and the probate is just getting started. If you need to get something to the reverse mortgage company "as soon as possible before they foreclose", you really can't afford to wait until the hearing in December. You need to decide whether you'd rather lose the house (or at least risk losing it), try to do it yourself, or pay an expert to do the job correctly.

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  6. How do I add a joint tennant to a property in a Ca. living trust?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. John Bernard Palley
    2. Janet Lee Brewer
    3. Michael John Harrington
    4. David L. Carrier
    4 lawyer answers

    John is absolutely right. You do not need to be a joint tenant in order to take advantage of the parent-child property tax exclusion. There are some serious disadvantages to joint tenancy ... if either you or your sister got into financial difficulty, your creditors could seize your interest in the house and force its sale. If you have any questions about how to accomplish this, I urge you to see a lawyer ... as the old saying goes, don't be penny wise and pound foolish.

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  7. Is it legal for me to mock the lawyers answering questions on this site?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Janet Lee Brewer
    2. Robert Lee Marshall
    3. Joshua M King
    4. Jeffrey Michael Donato
    4 lawyer answers

    I don't practice in Alabama and I don't know the defamation laws in that state. And the defamation laws regarding the internet are evolving. BUT in California calling someone a "pimp" is accusing them of "moral turpitude" and would amount to "slander per se" - meaning that the person would not even need to prove harm to his/her reputation in order to successfully maintain a lawsuit for damages against you ... especially since acts of moral turpitude can be grounds (in California, at least)...

    6 lawyers agreed with this answer

  8. About Durable Power Of Attorney: Can my son sell the house when I am abroad (absent) and NOT for medical reasons?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Janet Lee Brewer
    2. Lawrence A Friedman
    3. Ruth Elaine McMahon
    4. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    4 lawyer answers

    There are 2 different POA types - one for medical matters and a separate one for financial matters. In addition, the financial POA can be set up to handle transactions while you have mental capacity to do things yourself or when you are incapacitated. Most title companies have very specific language that they want to see in a power of attorney that permits someone else to sell your real estate. Most forms you find on the web or in an office supplies store lack that language. As the...

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  9. California is a Community Prop. State, can the surviving spouse benefit from a prop under a Trust before marriage?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Robert Paul Bergman
    2. Janet Lee Brewer
    3. John Noah Kitta
    4. Nancy Regan
    4 lawyer answers

    Mr. Bergman is 100% correct. Situations like the one your friend is in highlight the importance of estate planning in second marriages.

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  10. How to transfer a loan in house awarded in probate?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Janet Lee Brewer
    2. Hillary Johns
    2 lawyer answers

    Is your cousin trying to get a new loan? If not, she probably does not need to do anything except continue making payments on the mortgage ... if the mortgage is subject to the "Garn St. Germain Act" [12 USC section 1701J-3(d)(5)], the lender cannot call the loan if the loan was transferred to a relative as a result of the death of the borrower: so even if your cousin couldn't qualify for a loan on her own, she can continue to pay her father's loan and the bank cannot force her to refinance.

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