As more news comes out regarding the Estate Planning of Mental Incapacity of NBA Team Owner Donald Sterling, it appears that Donald Sterling was ruled an incompetent adult by two physicians. That was sufficient under the terms of the Living Trust that Donald shared with his wife, Shelly, so that under said Trust he could be found an Incompetent Adult which put Shelly in place as the sole Trustee of that Trust. In other words, there is a Mechanism designed into that Living Trust wherein the Mental Disability provision could be put into effect without the expense, delay, and publicity of going into Court to have someone adjudged an incompetent adult. It appears that under the terms of that Trust the two physician’s medical opinions were sufficient to find that Donald Sterling was an incompetent adult and unable to handle the affairs of the Living Trust. Therefore his wife, Shelly Sterling was able to manage the Trust as the sole successor trustee, as Donald was no longer competent to be a co-trustee. Therefore, Shelly Sterling had authority to sell the NBA Team.
In Estate Planning one conveys their ownership interest in property they own that has title. The NBA franchise was apparently held by an entity and that entity was conveyed into the Living Trust. Therefore the Legal Team was able to work to sell the NBA Team without going through lengthy and difficult court proceedings regarding Donald Sterling’s Mental Incapacity. If you have seen the interviews of Donald Sterling, you can tell that he had mental capacity problems.
When we design our Client’s Customized Protective Estate Plan™ using a Living Trust we design in a similar Mental Disability Mechanism. That way the family can avoid the expensive, time and public Court Proceedings on Mental Incapacity. Also there is always a risk of Loss of Control when one goes into Court System.
At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.