Fiduciary and Trustee Success Stories

Spoons In The Attic

During a pre-listing termite inspection on a vacant and empty property located on La Jolla Boulevard, we were chatting with the termite inspector while in the attic when we noticed several bales of insulation, one looking slightly different than the other. Upon further inspection, inside was found many antique silver spoons that had been collected by the deceased husband and wife while in Europe during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The existence of these valuables was unknown to the heirs of the estate. After turning over the boxes of spoons to the estate attorney, she passed them on to the heirs, who were pleasantly surprised about the discovery, not so much for their monetary value, but for uncovering little pieces of memories about their parents/grandparents that had been collected throughout Europe over the years.

The Inheritance That Almost Slid Away

One night an elderly widow living on Calle del Oro in La Jolla awoke in her bedroom to the rubbling sound of her hillside sliding away, caused from a water pipe that had burst and saturated the slope to the point of failure, damaging her pool in the process. As an original owner of the home, the property was a large portion of the inheritance for her grandchildren. The only problem was that the insurance company didn't cover reconstruction of land, only property. They offered to pay for the pool, but not the hillside. Most of the property's value (and grandchildren's inheritance) was about to be lost. We weren't about to let that happen. Through tough negotiations over several weeks with the large, international insurance company, we were able to secure a claim payout that made sure she didn't have to use any of her own money (and grandchildren's inheritance) to cover the cost to repair not only the pool area, but rebuild the entire hillside as well.

Blind Trust In The Land Of The Lost

A trust officer at Scripps Bank had a problem. While trying to close out a trust account, there was one remaining property to be sold. Unfortunately, the buyer had just backed out. The problem is that the property was two parcels located somewhere east of Julian, high in the San Diego County mountains. The remote hillside property was even a challenge for the county assessor, who needed more than a month just to locate the property. With a deadline approaching, and desperate to get this last remaining property sold quickly, the trust officer approached us and asked for assistance. In order to expedite the quick sale of the property, which we knew would take a long time to find a new buyer, we simply stepped in and purchased it, sight (site) unseen. Eventually, we sold the parcels to a land development company, the perfect buyer since the lots were not buildable unless combined with other parcels, even though it took ten years later to finally find them.

No Money? No Problem!

A family member had been placed in the position of successor trustee, and was referred to us to sell a two-unit property in the "Florida Gardens" neighborhood of North Park. We assisted him right from the start, helping him coordinate the clean up the property and smooth out the relationship with the not-to-cooperative tenant living in the front house in order to place the property on the market. An investor buyer was found and everything was proceeding smoothly, until one day when we received written cancellation that the buyer was backing out. Not one to easily take no for an answer, we contacted the buyer's agent who informed us that the investor's "money man" was the one who backed out of the transaction, and the buyer didn't have the funds to close escrow. After reviewing the buyer's creditworthiness and down payment, we stepped in and loaned the buyer $200,000 of our own money in order to keep the transaction on track and close the deal on time.