A special power of appointment protects both your children and your spouse. The power guarantees that the asset will go to your children, but your surviving spouse has the power to chose which ones of them will inherit. This gives your surviving spouse an effective way of making sure that he/she has more decision making power and flexibility to make distributions to your children. Having a special power of appointment also gives your surviving spouse the assurance that your children will not give your spouse a hard time after your death regarding the distribution of the trust assets, especially if your spouse is a spouse from a second marriage, and not the other parent of your children. Many times there are disputes that arise between a surviving spouse and the decedent’s children over the decedent’s assets. By using a special power of appointment, you may be able to protect your spouse or children from a long and expensive will or trust contest.
California special power of appointment language can be included at the time your trust is prepared. It is suggested that you use a California probate and trust attorney to prepare the trust and also have the attorney prepare your will. If you do not have a large estate with many assets or real property, you can insert special power of appointment language to the will giving your executor/surviving spouse the discretion to distribute estate assets to your children as directed under the special power of appointment.
Since most people do not understand the benefits of using a special power of appointment they usually require the assistance and advice of a California probate lawyer to help them set up this provision in their marital trust. The attorney can explain the different options and ways of disposing your assets to your children and surviving spouse while you are alive vs. using the special power of appointment provision in a marital trust after your death. A California probate and estate attorney can also represent your estate in any probate matters and help with court hearings and appearances, keep track of important probate deadlines and assist with other general probate estate matters that may arise after your death.
If you have any questions regarding this matter or are in need of an experienced estate and probate attorney in the San Diego area, please do not hesitate to give me a call at 858-792-5988.