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Does a successor trustee have to have an ORIGINAL copy of a trust or amended trust to make it legitimate?: My mother in law had a trust with a particular distribution for her beneficiaries dated 2010 with a legal service in California (we the people), not a lawyer. My wife was the successor trustee. We moved to Arizona in 2012. Right before she died, in 2015, she told my wife that she had changed the sucessor trustee to a different daughter who lived close by (from another father, later marriage) - but " nothing else had changed. "The amended trust had a VERY different distribution of benefits, and my wife had been nearly cut out. We have never seen the original, only copies of copies- that are poor quality, and honestly appear forged. My question is this- Does my wife's half-sister have to have an ORIGINAL amendment (signed in pen) not a copy in order to make the trust distribution legitimate? will she have to present it in court? Or does a copy of the amended trust (missing original trust pages, replaced by a handwritten redistribution page with a signature) suffice in California probate court? I already know that the trust itself tells what is required to make changes. Her trust did not require a notarized change - the only notarization on the trust itself was dated 2010.

Asked about 1 year ago in Trusts

Justin’s answer: CA Probate Code Section 16061.5 indicates that "A trustee shall provide a true and complete copy of
the terms of the irrevocable trust, or irrevocable portion of the trust" to beneficiaries. Therefore, an original document is not required. However, if there are missing pages then it would not be a complete copy. Additionally, you can challenge the validity of the amendment a number of ways. You will want to speak to an attorney with more detail on the matter.

Answered about 1 year ago.


Is there a legal minimum time from date of death in California for a trustee to notify a beneficiary?: My godmom passed away and left an irrevocable trust. It has been two months. I have not been notified as a beneficiary and yet she told me I was receiving a few meaningful items and she said she left me a small nest egg. How long can her trustee wait to inform me?

Asked about 1 year ago in Trusts

Justin’s answer: A few more details would be helpful about the trust, your family, and who you believe the current trustee might be. Generally, it's a good idea to send a letter to the Trustee and Executor politely requesting the entire Trust, including amendments, and Last Will for your godmother.

Under California Probate Code Section 16061.7, the current Trustee of your godmother's trust is required to provide all beneficiaries of the trust and all heirs with a true copy of the trust documents, including any amendments, 60 days after her death.

It would be most effective to have an attorney send these written demands on your behalf.

Answered about 1 year ago.


How can my son and I legally break this lease as lease and guarantor?: My son signed a lease with 5 other classmates to rent a house off campus. I signed the lease as his guarantor. Since signing my son and the other boys had a falling out with some heavy racial overtones and abuse directed at my son. He wants to get out of the lease, as do I. The landlord says we cannot.

Asked over 1 year ago in Real Estate

Justin’s answer: More information is needed to understand your legal options. If you have attempted to speak with the landlord already without success, it may be time to get an involved attorney to help negotiate and help out. There are many ways to get out of a lease if the facts are in your favor. Proving harassment can be difficult but another claim of breach of quiet use and enjoyment may be more effective.

Answered over 1 year ago.