Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

My mom recently passed away; so we'll need to create a new living trust among her 6 living children. Two of my siblings are non-US citizens, non-US residents. What are the implications? Are they entitled to full benefits as are the siblings who are US citizens and residents? Can we assign as beneficiaries nephews, nieces, grandchildren who are also non-US citizens and non-US residents? The property is in the Los Angeles suburb; do you recommend a law firm experienced in this area? I'm one of the 6 siblings (Mom's living children) but i live in Pennsylvania. Two of my siblings live in California; but i'm asking the question for all of us... I would appreciate your free advice.

Asked on 6/19/13, 3:44 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Kelvin Green The Law Office of Kelvin Green

I will recommend sitting down with an attorney in California. You need to look at the terms of the old trust but generally the trust continues long enough to transfer property to the beneficiaries. I don't see the need for a new trust or to perpetuate it out, unless there is a significant reason to have a home owned by six people and the accompanying headaches.... If the property can't be sold (depending on the wording) may be able to carry it until it can be sold and trust is finished The idea is for the beneficiaries to get their shares or value and move on..get wait an LA probate/estate planning attorney

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Answered on 6/19/13, 6:13 am

Neal Rimer Neal M. Rimer, Esquire

I doubt that a new living trust would be the best way in which the beneficiaries of mom would hold title to the real property. As a guess, I would think that the beneficiaries who receive the interest in the property might want to contribute the property to a newly formed LLC (Limited Liability Company). A local sibling could manage the property (and even get paid to do the management work) and could distribute cash flow as deemed appropriate. Sale, financing, re-financing, leasing, etc., are all possibilities for the LLC.

I would suggest a conference with an attorney to go over all of the specific facts would be the best means of identifying the alternatives available and the benefits of those alternatives.

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Answered on 6/19/13, 7:04 am
William Christian Rodi Pollock

Your question reveals some uncertainty as to terms. First we would need to know what your mothers trust or other instruments require for distribution. If property is to go yo each of you outright, and free of trust, you will need to decide as a group what to do with the property. If you elect to sell it, you can proceed on that basis and sell with a division of the proceeds. If you elect to continue ownership, you would likely form an LLC to hold the property for all of you and arrange an management structure. If the property is retained in your mothers trust, you do not need a new trust, you use, and comply, with the terms of, your motherstrust.

You really need to seek counsle with an estate planning attorney to assure you are asking the right questions and get the right answers. This gratuitous response does not create an attorney client relationship. The advice provided herein is generic, may not apply to your circumstances and is not to be relied upon in your actions. An attorney client relationship is created only upon execution of an engagement letter hiring me or my firm.

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Answered on 6/19/13, 9:25 am
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

I agree with the previous responses. The reason that you are getting these types of responses is because you state new trust, and that your mother passed away. That tells us attorneys that there was an earlier trust, which has become irrevocable because of the death of your mother. Those kinds of trust can only be modified with a court order and notice to all the beneficiaries.

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Answered on 6/20/13, 4:26 pm

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