The purpose of a California special power of appointment is for the maker (the testator) of a will or trust to give an executor or other beneficiary broader powers to distribute certain assets to a group of beneficiaries in the testator’s will or trust. An example of when a special power of appointment would be used is when the testator gives his/her child the power to make decisions regarding certain property to be given to the testator’s grandchildren. Tailoring powers by giving a special power of appointment gives more flexibility in making decisions regarding the distribution of estate assets after the decedent’s death. The special power of appointment does not allow the executor or beneficiary to make distributions to themselves or their creditors.
The executor or a beneficiary of the will may also receive a general power of appointment, which allows making distributions of all estate assets to all beneficiaries including themselves or their creditors. However, a general power of appointment may have tax ramifications and should be discussed with a California probate and trust attorney.
Making a Special Power of Appointment
A California special power of appointment is made at the time the testator makes a California will or trust by writing a special clause in the will stating that the testator would like to give the executor or beneficiary the appointment. It is always recommended that a California will be prepared by a California probate and estate attorney to make sure that the will is prepared in accordance with California probate laws and has the language required for a special power of appointment.
California probate laws are complex and most people do not have an understanding of how they work or what is required when you draft a will or trust, or want to give an executor a special power of appointment. A California probate and estate attorney is knowledgeable about California probate laws, and can answer any questions that you may have regarding California wills, power of appointments and trusts. A California probate and estate attorney can represent the estate of a decedent or a beneficiary, prepare tax returns, make court appearances and handle other estate and probate matters.
For additional questions on creating a special power of appointment, feel free to call my office at 858-792-5988.