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Trusts & Estates Law/financial manager for parent - DPOA and a trust


I would appreciate it if you could offer some strategy as to how I can best care for my motherís financial assets (in CA), specifically:
- there is a living trust where she and my father were co-trustees and I and my sister are successor trustees
- my father passed away recently and my mother is not capable of handling finances, so I am doing that
- in the trust, it seems clear that she is the sole trustee now

If I have durable power of attorney, will I be able to manage her finances that are in her trust accounts by just submitting the DPOA to the bank? Or is there a better way?

For now, I opened a small account where we are joint tenants for paying bills, but I donít want to put much money into that for fear of putting it at risk because of something that might affect me.

My interim strategy is to make small deposits into the joint account where I have authority to write checks. My concern is that legally, if I am not listed as having rights on the trust account, it wouldnít be right for me to manage it directly even though she would like that. Thank you for any suggestions that you can offer!


Dear Leo

To my understanding, I have the following to state:

(1) After your Father's demise, your mother is the sole remaining surviving Trustee.

(2) You and your Sister will become Trustees after your Mother.

(3) Since you  hold the DPOA from your Mother, you can can operate the Trust account on her behalf

(4) Your small bank account for paying bills is for convenience purpose and seems fine.

I would suggest you consult a legal expert for getting the full understanding of your liabilities and authority.

Hope that helps

Dr Garain

Trusts & Estates Law

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Swapan Garain


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