Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

My brother had my mom sign a Trust amendment/restatement making himself her co-trustee and principal beneficiary. He also hid the existence of the Trust from the rest of the family until after my mom was diagnosed with dementia. My brother has now filed for conservatorship over mom.

I found the following clause in the Trust.

"Limitations on Trustees. No person who at any time is acting as Trustee hereunder shall have any power or obligation to participate in any discretionary authority which the Settlor has given to the Trustee to pay principal or income to such person, or for his or her benefit or in relief of his or her legal obligations."

I don't fully understand this clause. Does this prevent the Trustee (my brother) from using mom's assets for his legal fees in filing for conservator or legal fees related to enforcing the Trust?

Asked on 11/13/14, 1:17 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Julie Mains Mains Law Office

That paragraph is supposed to limit the Trustee from paying monies to the trustee for his benefit. The Trust generally has an obligation to pay for expenses incurred in the administration but a Trust usually eliminates the need for a conservatorship unless he does not have the health care power of attorney or the Trust is silent on it. It sounds as if you need to get involved if you think he has taken advantage of your mom.

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Answered on 11/18/14, 2:30 pm

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