Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

My wife is the Trustee for her deceased Aunt. Under a Power of Appointment, her aunt changed the trust to say that only the "Living Issue " of her brother should share in her part of the spouses trust. There is one deceased issue of her brother who has two sons. The sons believe that they should be included in their Mothers portion of the trust. The aunt passed away 07/17/2020. Her residence was in San Francisco, CA. Can you help clarify?

Asked on 10/07/20, 2:09 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Scott Jordan Jordan Law Office

There are many questions that come to mind. For instance, who were the Settlors of the trust? Your Aunt or her brother. Were they married at the time the original trust was created? When and why did the aunt make the change to the trust? Was the Aunt have the legal capacity to make the change? Is your wife the daughter of the brother? What does "share in her part of the spouses trust" mean? And so on.

Assuming the change was legal, based on what you wrote, only the children, grandchildren, etc. of the brother living at the time of the brother's death would be entitled to an inheritance from his portion of the trust estate. The remaining portion would, I assume, be the brother's spouses portion and all of the children would be entitled to a co-equal portion of that amount.

This is complicated and I suggest your wife schedule an appointment with a Trust attorney to review the documents and map out how the estate should be distributed.

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Answered on 10/07/20, 4:28 pm

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