Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

In my grandmother's Will/Trust, my mother is named as one of three executors. My mother passed away 3 years ago. My Grandmother has not updated anything as it is expensive and emotionally taxing on her. My Grandmother�s Questions are:

1. If nothing is done to update the Will/Trust, should grandma pass away or become incapacitated, will the two remaining executors be placed in charge without replacing my Mother (with a court appointed representative)?

2. If grandma replaces my mother with "mother's" eldest daughter (making three living executors again) can the other two contest this later to remove or override?

2a. The other two executors are Grandmother�s two sons. Would this give them an advantage of having a fair chance of removing or overriding newly appointed executor? Being they are her sons, there are two of them and only one of her of which is a granddaughter?

3. In the event Grandma becomes unable to make decisions for herself and/or incapacitated, and executorship is appointed per the Will/Trust as it is now (naming all three children as executor's, with one deceased) can the two remaining executors spend money from Grandmother�s checking/savings as well as funds that have been set aside in the Will/Trust (Will/Trust name several people to inherit specific portions of remaining funds from property, accounts & trust) as they see fit under the guise of caretaking & management fee's (paid to themselves) while Grandmother is still alive.

3a. In other words can the two remaining executors (should they both agree), deplete accounts and Trust as they see fit? Thus possibly draining all accounts and trust to their benefit.

4. At time of death of the Trustor (grandmother) and the Will/Trust stands as it is now with three executors (one being my Mother who has passed away, who is also the daughter of the trustor/grandmother), can the two executor�s contest the inheritance that is outlined in the Will/Trust?

4a. The Trust states, that in the event of my mother�s untimely passing her share of the inheritance, a 3rd of the everything remaining in checking, savings & trust moneys (after properties are sold, taxes and bills are paid) shall be split equally to the deceased executor�s two children (our names are specifically stated), to be divided into equal portions between the two of them. (The trust is set up that way for all executors children should anyone pass away).

Asked on 4/11/13, 11:10 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Charles Perry Law Offices of Charles R. Perry

This forum is not designed to replace an interview with counsel. In addition, it is not possible to answer the majority of your questions without a review of the documentation and a discussion with your grandmother. About all I can say is that the Court will follow the instructions of the documents your grandmother has already prepared.

The expense of reviewing the will and trust is likely worth the peace of mind it will create, and will easily be less than the cost of court proceedings in case there is a dispute. I therefore urge you to help you meet with a lawyer that is experienced in helping the elderly work through their fears and create an estate plan with which she is comfortable;

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Answered on 4/11/13, 11:49 pm

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