Estate Planning And Business Law In Napa Valley And Beyond

Q: My brother and I owned a rental property together as joint tenants and he recently passed away, but he wrote a will that left all of his assets to his son. Will I inherit his half of the property?

A: Yes you will. A will has no effect or power over property owned in joint tenancy, as the surviving joint tenant(s) will always inherit the interest of the deceased joint tenant, even if the deceased joint tenant had a will with different terms!

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Q: My mom named me (and not my sister) the Successor Trustee of her trust. Am I required to show my sister all the records of trust expenses and transactions, or does she just have to trust me since my mom clearly trusted me to do it correctly and fairly?

A: Yes, your sister has a right to receive an accounting! Specifically, under California Probate Code §16062, after your mom passes away, you will be required to provide a full accounting not only to your sister, but to EACH beneficiary at least once per year until...

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