Legal Question in Elder Law in California

My mother created Trust designating me as a trustee in her Trust. She now has dementia. Is the Trust enough to enable me to take care of her finances, instead of a Power of Attorney? She did create a document giving me Power of Attorney for Health, but I don't think she created a durable Power of Attorney document.


Asked on 1/23/23, 11:13 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

It depends on whether you are the original trustee or successor trustee. If you are the original trustee, you can take care of any finances that are in the trust. Unfortunately, after originally creating a trust, people often forget to put new accounts and assets into the trust. A trustee can only handle things in the trust. If she is the original trustee and you are successor, it's even more complicated. You will have to have her declared incompetent to continue to act as trustee, making you successor trustee. Then you still face the issue of assets in and not in the trust. If you have to go to the trouble of having her declared incompetent and making you trustee, you may as well get a conservatorship at the same time, which would cover the trust and anything not properly conveyed into the trust.

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Answered on 1/24/23, 8:20 am


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