Changing Beneficiaries in Totten Trusts
The Appellant argued that she remained the sole beneficiary of the savings account because the Decedent failed to use one of the methods described in California Probate Code section 5303 to change the beneficiary of a Totten Trust Account. However, the Court of Appeals found pursuant to Section 5201, subdivision (c)(2) that sums remaining on deposit in a Totten trust after the death of the sole trustee belong to the person named as beneficiary, "unless there is clear and convincing evidence of a different intent." The Appellate Court found that there was clear and convincing evidence that the Testator had a different intent at the time of her death because she established a living trust that expressly stated her intention to leave the savings account to a different person.
If you have questions about changing the terms of your Totten Trust or would like to learn more about a Totten Trust and live in the LA area, you should consult with an experienced Los Angeles estate litigation attorney.