Top 10 List of Trust and Estate Beneficiary Rights

Click on the below video for my Top 10 List of Trust and Estate Beneficiary Rights.  I have also posted below the video the text of the discussion.  And feel free to forward this blog post to anyone who would be interested, including beneficiaries, and trustee and executor fiduciaries.  Thank you.  Dave Tate (San Francisco and California)

Text:

Hello, I’m Dave Tate. I’m a San Francisco, California civil, trust, estate, conservatorship and elder abuse litigation attorney.

After years of practice, the following is my top 10 list of trust and estate beneficiary rights in most situations.

And correspondingly, if you are a trustee or executor with fiduciary duties, satisfying these responsibilities will help put you on a good path. The following list is not in any particular order.

Here are the top 10 trust and estate beneficiary rights.

1st. To have the trustee or executor follow the terms of the trust or will.

2nd. To have the trustee or executor act and interact in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

3rd. For the trustee or executor not to self-deal.

4th. To have the assets go to the people who the Decedent would have intended if the trust or will isn’t clear or doesn’t reflect the Decedent’s true wishes.

5th. For the trustee or executor to prudently invest, spend and maximize the trust or estate assets.

6th. For the trustee or executor to take possession of and safeguard the assets.

7th. For the trustee or executor to timely and prudently manage and administer the trust or estate.

8th. For the trustee or executor to make timely distributions in accord with the terms of the trust or will.

9th. For the trustee or executor to reasonably provide timely information about the trust or estate, the assets and its management, as required. Note, as a beneficiary your requests must be reasonable and appropriate.

And 10th. For the trustee or executor to provide timely and proper accountings, as required.

If you are a trust or estate beneficiary you need to know your rights. Similarly, if you are a trustee or executor, you need to know and satisfy your duties and responsibilities to complete your tasks and avoid problems and possible liability. That’s it for now. Thanks for listening.

Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco and California), http://californiaestatetrust.com

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Upcoming Presentations – (1) Probate Court Litigation; (2) Elder Abuse and Protection

Upcoming presentations:

(1) Probate Court litigation, for a group of estate planning attorneys, caregivers and fiduciaries, March 26, 2015.

(2) Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse and Protection, for the Riverside estate planning bar, April 16, 2015.

Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco and California)

Dementia care divides many families – from NBC

Dementia and how to care for the person who has dementia divides many families. Click on the following link for a good discussion about family dynamics and disagreements.  Estate planning documents can help avoid some of the issues – such as power of attorney, health care directive, living will, trust, and other documents.  Still disagreements and contests over who will be the decision maker and what care will be provided will persist. I’m reminded of a sibling family dispute case that I was involved in over Mom’s care, her diagnosis and prognosis, whether or not Mom could communicate by blinking her eyes, Mom’s wishes for her quality of life and care, and whether Mom would want to be or should be disconnected from the hospital machine support. Click on the following link for the NBC article, CLICK HERE

Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco and California)

Massachusetts legislation to help with in-home care services and costs

The following is a link to a short discussion about possible legislation in Massachusetts to assist with in-home care services and costs, CLICK HERE.

Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco / California)

Undue Influence – From Martin Blinder, M.D. Post

The following is a post by Martin Blinder, M.D., about forensic psychiatry, undue influence and some possible indicators. It’s a good read for thought. Click here for the link.

Enjoy. Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco/California), http://californiaestatetrust.com

California Trustee – What Would Keep Me Up At Night – February 2015


Please also forward this blog post to anyone else who would be interested. At the request of friends I have also posted below the video the text of the discussion.  Thank you.  Dave Tate

Text:

California Trustees – What Would Keep Me Up At Night – February 2015

Hello I’m Dave Tate. I’m a San Francisco litigation attorney and I also represent trustees in trust administrations. This discussion is for California trustees, and what would keep me up at night February 2015.

Trustee responsibilities are extensive and they arise from different sources including the wording of the trust itself, statutes and case law. Of course you have to cover all areas of your trustee responsibility, but here is my list of primary issues that would keep me up at night as a trustee. This list is not in any particular order.

First, do you understand what the trust says and requires?

Second, have you marshalled and safeguarded the assets that are in or that are supposed to be in the trust? Are they in the trust and under your control?

Third, do you really understand your legal responsibilities including the wording and requirements in the trust, what the probate code and case law require of you? As a trustee you are a fiduciary. You have one of the highest standards of care, responsibility, liability and unbiased fairness and good faith required by law.

Fourth, are the trust assets being invested, managed and recorded properly and prudently? You need to evaluate and manage the returns and the risks, in accord with the wording of the trust and your fiduciary duties. So, for example, the stock market goes up and down. If the market goes down, is your approach to the portfolio management designed to help you avoid liability for losses?

Next, do you have the proper fiduciary demeanor and decision making approach required of a trustee?

Sixth, is the trust cash flow prudently managed? You might, for example, through no fault of your own have a trust with declining asset values or liquidity issues.

Next, do you know what to do if you have beneficiaries who are disagreeing with your decisions, or who are threatening litigation?

Eighth do you know what information you must or possibly should provide to the beneficiaries?

Ninth, do you understand that you have personal liability exposure for the actions that you take or don’t take as the trustee? You are required to be prudent with risk management. Also consider possible fiduciary insurance coverage although in most situations it isn’t required.

And last on this list, when necessary do you consult with professionals to advise you on your fiduciary duties and trust administration management?

That’s it for now. You can find more information at http://californiaestatetrust.com Thanks for listening.

Mandated Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse Reporting – Then What’s Next – Community Response