Trust Drafting and Conflict of Interests

   When drafting an estate plan you must consider many factors, including who drafts your will and/or trust. Certainly you should look for a qualified attorney. If you have concerns about how a trust was drafted and you live in the Los Angeles area, you should consult with an experienced Los Angeles estate litigation lawyer. However, you should also be careful to solicit recommendations for attorneys from people you plan to designate as beneficiaries. 
    California Probate Code section 21350 creates a rebuttable presumption that no provision or provisions, of any instrument shall be valid to make any donative transfer to a person who is related by blood or marriage to, is a domestic partner of, is a cohabitant with, or is an employee of, the person who drafted the instrument. Does this portion mean you cannot use your friend's daughter to draft your will because you'd like to leave your friend some personal belongings in a will--maybe not. 
    The prohibition created by section 21350 does not apply if the court determines upon clear and convincing evidence, but not based solely upon the testimony of any disqualified transferee, that the transfer was not a product of fraud, menace, duress or undue influence. (California Probate Code section 21351, subdivision d.)
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