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Petition to compel

Discussion in 'Estate Planning, Creating Wills & Trusts' started by Bob Mitchell, Aug 5, 2022 at 7:41 PM.

  1. Bob Mitchell

    Bob Mitchell Law Topic Starter Guest

    My aunt who lived in Santa Barbara California by herself started showing sign of dementia. She asked me her nephew to help with her estate. She had a lawyer assign her right as the trustee for the family trust to me. A real estate agent who has helped my aunt for years with her rental properties filed a petition with the Santa Barbara probate court to have me removed as trustee. Once the petition was finally submitted correctly the Judge assigned a local estate management company to investigate my aunt estate. The estate management company hired a local lawyer to represent them and found out that the estate co. insurance did not cover them to be a trustee. So, the judge and the lawyer work of an arrangement by call the estate co. a temporary special investigate trustee. So now, I the trustee, is being asked to pay both the estate co. bills and their lawyer bill from my aunts personal checking account. There is no Trust checking account. The trust lawyer tells me this is how it works, A this point the petition has only been assigned to the judge and has not been submitted to probate court for a hearing. So, for the last two months all the lawyer talk to the judge in her chambers and send me the bill. Any advice would be welcomed


    Best Rregards

    Bob
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Okay, mate, time for YOU to retain counsel to advise you.

    Don't seek free advice from strangers, or lawyers working for other people.

    If you keep that up, you might wake up one day to discover all of your aunt's wealth has disappeared.

    Bottom line, hire an attorney you trust and like to make sure you're doing everything correctly and legally!
     
    Zigner likes this.
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Gotta agree with the judge. Your aunt must be rather wealthy to have this many vultures circling.
     
    Zigner and army judge like this.
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Mate, those death buzzards are very greedy, hungry critters.

    In many ways, their behavior (once they've identified their victim) is akin to a school of piranhas.


    ...
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    What does "her right as the trustee for the family trust" mean?

    It sounds like your aunt was the trustee for a trust and that you have now assumed that role. Correct? FWIW, being a trustee is not a matter of right; nor does that status confer any legal rights. More important, who is/are the settlor(s) of this trust and who is/are the beneficiary(ies)?

    Why doesn't the trust have a checking account? Does the trust have liquid assets? How do you, as the trustee, expect to pay trust expenses without a trust checking account? When you wrote that you are "being asked to pay" these things from your aunt's personal account, did you actually mean that you were ordered by the court to do this? Are you an authorized signer on her personal account?

    What does "the trust lawyer" mean? Is this a lawyer that you hired to advise you in your capacity as trustee of the trust? Who is paying this lawyer's fees?

    You've got quite a mess here. You need to have a lawyer that you have retained to advise you in your capacity as trustee. That lawyer's fees should be paid from trust assets. If you don't have such an attorney you are setting yourself up for big personal liability.
     
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