Can a Trustee Be Held Personally Liable?

image of trustee hands signing a legal document for a trust

The United States is entering a new demographic era and as a result, a new era of estate planning. With the dramatic increase of the population entering their golden years, more and more households are using trusts and other estate planning tools. It is now a commonly used tool both in upper and middle-class families. As a result, more and more of the general population are being asked to serve as trustees. Emphasis on serve, because acting as a trustee really is service. It requires attention to detail and the ability to work with people, and the conflict which that sometimes entails.

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Can You Sue a Trustee for Negligence?

In many situations where family, friends, or even less acquainted people are asked to make key decisions for others, there is often discord and even out-and-out hostilities. It may be because of the intention, communication, outcome, or many other parts of a chain of events. When the stakes are high, the conflicts can be greater and more heated, especially when significant amounts of money or property are involved.

This is exactly the situation when trusts are in place.

A person, usually known as the grantor, sets aside a large pool of resources. Then, rules are written on how to distribute and dispose of those resources. This is the trust document. The person who enforces the parameters of the trust is called the trustee. Their goal is to execute the trust as the grantor wished and organized. Problems often arise if the trust is not clearly written or facts change, making the initial execution nearly impossible. In the worst case, problems occur because a trustee intentionally breaches a duty to the trust.

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Difference Between Probate, Trust, and Estate Lawyers

gavel laying on book in library

We are lucky to live in a great part of the United States, the country that is still the most stable and prosperous in the world. We are fortunate to have a great entrepreneurial spirit: success often comes easy to those who focus and work hard. We applaud that success and have focused on providing professional services to support that hard work and material success by protecting your assets and helping you to see that it is distributed according to your wishes. That will at minimum take the work of estate lawyers, often trust and probate lawyers as well. Life is unpredictable, full of twists and turns, and things happen.

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How Much Time Do You Have to Complete a 1031 Exchange?

Consider this scenario: You hear the market is hot, and you decide to swap out a property you own for a new one. Possibly to create more revenue, perhaps because it’s closer to you geographically, or because you want less maintenance to perform. In any of these situations, you have a limited time to act once you sell the property you are exiting, and it is not always easier to close on a new property. Read the following to learn about the specifics of the 1031 Exchange time limits.

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Does a 1031 Exchange Avoid California Taxes?

Two people trading money for house in a 1031 exchange. Contract on table.

Managing real estate investments in California is fraught with difficulties. Having to worry about tax liability while you are dodging legislative hurdles – rent control, local government planning commissions, and short-term eviction bans – counters most wealth-building strategies. While we can help with those issues too, this article is focused on capital gains tax relief. Particularly how not to get burned by taxes when closing out a real estate position with a 1031 Exchange.

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The Differences Between Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts

You have probably seen someone– a non-lawyer likely– selling living trusts, offering numerous promises, including “saving money,” avoiding probate, and reducing or avoiding taxes. Some salespeople will say that living trusts ensure privacy or can be used to prevent actions by creditors, including the government and health care providers. There are even trust “mills” that pump out trusts with little to no regard for the actual needs and desires of clients. It is imperative to make sure that you hire an expert to achieve your objectives. Attorneys have studied trusts in law school, know the place of trusts in an estate plan, and can provide a holistic solution for their clients that consider all of the circumstances of the household. Below, we will discuss the differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts and how a proper lawyer can help you achieve the goals mentioned with the correct legal instrument.

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How to Incorporate Your Digital Life into Your Estate Plans

How to incorporate digital life into an estate plan

In this modern age, our digital life has become almost as important as our normal everyday lives. Our online accounts, emails, social media profiles and digital subscriptions are all a part of our daily routines, so it’s natural to think about what will happen to them when you pass away. An estate planning attorney can … Read moreHow to Incorporate Your Digital Life into Your Estate Plans

What Are the Benefits of Micro Estate Planning?

Man filling out documents

Traditional estate planning can reduce your taxes, eliminate large probate fees, and give you security for the future. However, you might be unfamiliar with a brand-new estate planning term: micro estate planning. What Is Micro Estate Planning? Long-term planning is important, and it should still be considered in your overall estate planning process. However, it … Read moreWhat Are the Benefits of Micro Estate Planning?

Aretha Franklin’s Death Without a Will is a Reminder to Think About Your Estate Plans

The Importance of Having a Living Trust in California

According to documents filed in probate court, Aretha Franklin left no will or trust behind when she died. Without proper documentation of her assets, a net-worth estimated beyond $80 million and rumored debts, figuring the true worth of Franklin’s estate will likely be controversial and take time. If Franklin voiced any wishes for her estate … Read moreAretha Franklin’s Death Without a Will is a Reminder to Think About Your Estate Plans