Should I pay the attorney to amend the trust and take her name off the trust? What advantage would there be, if any? 6 Answers as of July 05, 2013

My two brothers, myself and our Mom are all equal co-trustees for our family revocable living trust. It was all set up by a reputable trust attorney in Minnesota in 1999. Now I have Mom living with me in California. She is 92 and in poor health. The attorney charges a lot. Several friends have told me, if Mom needs more funds to pay for her care, the trust funds would be wiped out first, so best to take her name off. First and foremost, we have no intention of skimping on her care.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
First, the trust is your mother's estate. Merely because she put all of you on the trust as co trustee, gives you no interest in the trust assets. Only your mother has the power to amend the trust. The assets in the trust are for your mother's care. None of you are entitled to an inheritance before the taxpayers are repaid for any medical care provided by the taxpayer. Having said all of the above, if you have a power of attorney from her, you may want to consult an estate planning attorney for some sound legal advice as to any amendments your mother may agree to; because of her age, do not delay, as time is of the essence. And lastly, the estate planning attorney probably did not charge a lot, as he was a specialist. The old saying still applies: "An ounce prevention is cheaper than a pound of cure."
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/5/2013
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
Discuss the matter with the trust attorney but also find out from that attorney what advantage/disadvantage there is in having the attorney as trustee. It seems to me that that has no benefit since the beneficiaries of the Trust are in agreement in general.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/2/2013
Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
I am not sure what the value of removing your mother from the trust is at this point. If you are trying to plan for medical, it is probably too late for that. I will assume the money held in trust is your mother's. If so, it should be used for her care. That is what it is there for.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/2/2013
Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
Removing your mom, as Trustee, is not going to change the fact that her assets, in the trust, are going to be used for her care. You cannot magically just wipe out the liability she has to pay for her care from her assets, just because her assets were put into a revocable trust. The fact that there are 3 or 4 trustees of the trust usually makes it difficult to manage and administer a trust. At the least, it becomes too time consuming to get anything done. I suggest only 1 trustee is more appropriate, unless there are issues of distrust between the siblings (children) of the settlor. You mom is living in California now. Having a trust amended in Minnesota does not seem to be the right move. It might be better to have a restated trust done in California in conformance with California law since that is where she is residing. Also, there have been many law changes and tax changes since 1999. Your best move would be to meet with someone in California and go over the current terms of the trust and the current assets owned by the trust and re-evaluate what is in your mom's best interest. It would be a good idea to make sure that there are no assets in your mom's name at this time and if any exist, they should be put into the trust. I always recommend a meeting and review of the terms of the trust and family circumstances along with assets every 3 years or so.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/2/2013
James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
It is your mother's trust so you cannot take her name off of it. Further, it is her money presumably in trust, so it will be used for her care no matter what unless and until she qualifies for public assistance which won't happen until the trust is sufficiently depleted. There is no benefit to taking her off the trust and you couldn't if you wanted to because you are not the creator of the trust, just a trustee.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/2/2013
    Law Offices of R. Christine Brown | R. Christine Brown
    Merely removing your mother as Trustee does not eliminate her from receiving any assets (i.e. cash, etc) from the Trust, if she is the beneficiary of the trust during her lifetime.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/2/2013
Click to View More Answers: