Robert Paul Bergman’s Answers

Robert Paul Bergman

San Jose Trusts Attorney.

Contributor Level 13
  1. Where can I find a listing of ca trust companies to act as successor trustee for a personal trust?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Robert Paul Bergman
    2. Joanna Lynn de Vos
    3. L Christopher Arvin
    4. Steven J. Fromm
    5. Thomas William Dominick
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    I'm not sure that there is an actual "listing" of California trust companies. That being said, here is partial list of banks and trust companies that have personal trust services in your area: Comerica Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, Union Bank, First Republic Bank, Northern Trust, Farmers and Merchants Trust Company of Long Beach, and Trust Company of the West. An estate planning attorney in Long Beach should be able to direct you to specific trust companies in your area.

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  2. My husband is the trustee to his father's estate. He is selling his house but the title company is asking for irrelevant docs.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Robert Paul Bergman
    2. John P Corrigan
    3. Jennifer Nicole Sawday
    3 lawyer answers

    It is possible that your father-in-law's ex-wife appears on the current title of the house as she was the original trustee. The fact that she signed over the trust to your husband would not automatically change the actual title on the house, which may still reflect her name as the trustee. If that is the case, some legal action needed to be taken to clear her name off of the title of the property. The title company should be able to explain just why they need the ex-wife's death...

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  3. My grandma is 86 years old, she said that she has a little money put aside for me to buy a house.

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Robert Paul Bergman
    2. Paula Brown Sinclair
    3. Steven J. Fromm
    4. William Martin Burbank
    4 lawyer answers

    First of all, under current tax law, the annual gift tax exclusion for your grandma would be $13,000 this year, and $15,000 next year, with amounts given to you that are under than amount not being subject to gift tax. At the same time, there is current a lifetime gift tax exclusion of $5.12 million for gifts made before the end of this year, which will be dropping in 2013, but still well above "a little money put aside." Any tax on a gift is paid by the donor (i.e. the giver) rather than...

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  4. Can a successor trustee to a living trust be a foreign citizen, more in details,

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Robert Paul Bergman
    2. John Noah Kitta
    3. Jonathan H Levy
    3 lawyer answers

    There are several potential problems with naming a non-resident as a successor trustee for your living trust, and guardian for your minor child. For your minor child, it will be necessary for a non-citizen, non-resident to apply to the Probate Court in Santa Clara County (your county), and the proposed guardian will need to demonstrate that they have obtained guardianship in the home country (i.e. India) in order to be considered as the guardian for your minor child. This process could take...

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  5. In an AB trust on death of a spouse where 50% of assets pass into the B trust, are 100% of assets written up current market?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Robert Paul Bergman
    2. Charles Adam Shultz
    3. Theodore Michael Hankin
    3 lawyer answers

    Generally speaking, if the real estate, stocks and bonds are held in the trust as community property by the married couple, there is a step-up in cost basis for capital gains income tax purposes of all of those assets to the current fair market value as of the date of death of the first spouse. To confirm this value, date of death appraisals of real estate should be obtained, as well as date of death valuations of the stock and bonds. Given the current high federal estate tax exclusion ($...

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  6. What type of Deed Document do I need to transfer property from a joint tenant to his Living Trust, if the other JT died?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Robert Paul Bergman
    2. Sean Patrick Lewis
    2 lawyer answers

    The latter is correct. In order to clear the title to the property to permit the transfer into the husband's living trust, an Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant will need to be recorded along with a certified copy of the Certificate of Death for the wife. A Trust Transfer Deed can be prepared and filed at the same time as the Affidavit, with an instruction to the Recorder to record the Affidavit first, followed by the Trust Transfer Deed.

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  7. When one trustee of a revocable living trust is deceased, can the other cotrustee apply for new bank accounts in the trust name?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Robert Paul Bergman
    2. Eric Jerome Gold
    3. James P. Frederick
    4. John Noah Kitta
    4 lawyer answers

    The short answer to your question is "yes," as you are the sole remaining trustee of the trust. However, depending on the terms of the trust itself, you may need to take steps to have your husband's name removed from accounts or real estate owned by the trust, and the trust itself may have requirements to now divide up your property into two or more new trusts as the result of your husband's death (i.e. an "A/B trust") You should probably have the trust reviewed to make sure that there...

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  8. My Uncle is an executor of a trust. He sold a house that is ours and is keeping the money. Is this legal? What can we do?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Robert Paul Bergman
    2. Thomas William Dominick
    3. David L. Carrier
    4. James P. Frederick
    4 lawyer answers

    First of all, an unexecuted trust is no trust at all. Your question does not indicate who owns or owned the house that was to go into the trust, so I presume that the owner has died and, without any estate plan, the laws of intestate succession are in effect. This means that once the owner dies, basically their closest living relatives inherit. Your uncle "claiming" the entire property is meaningless if he is not the intestate heir or the heir to the property under a Will or trust....

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  9. Do i still need a will and/or living trust?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Robert Paul Bergman
    2. Minda B. Parrish
    3. Graham Barton McDougal
    4. Lawrence A Friedman
    5. James P. Frederick
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    In addition to a financial power of attorney, you should have an advance health care directive for medical decisions. At least a simple will leaving things to your sister should enable her to request a final paycheck to be paid to her by invoking the authority of Probate Code Section 13100 (small estate affidavit). So long as the property subject to Probate (property in your name alone without any survivorship provisions such as joint tenancy or beneficiary designations) or payable to your...

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  10. Can a living trust in California have co-trustees with equal oversight? Also, must Living Wills be updated periodically?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Robert Paul Bergman
    2. Daniel Mcgraw Little
    3. James P. Frederick
    3 lawyer answers

    Answering your questions: A living trust in California can have co-trustees with equal oversight. You can also have trustees that have different powers and different rights. Living Wills or "directives to physicians" (now replaced by the advance health care directive) should be updated periodically if the intentions of the person change over time. If you do not have different wishes, you do need to update anything. There is no requirement that someone provide a copy of their existing...

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