Under Prob. Code 632, if the instrument creating a power of appointment so provides, any instrument exercising the power must include a specific reference to the power or to the instrument creating it.  The statute was passed to avoid form wills and their exercises of powers of appointment which were found often to have unintended consequences.  Here O’Connor’s parents’ trust gave him a power of appointment but required that any exercise of the power specifically refer to the power.  O’Connor’s will stated, “I exercise any Power of Appointment which I may have over that portion of the trust or trusts established by my parents for my benefit ….”  This case holds that the quoted language was a sufficient reference to the power being exercised to satisfy both Prob. Code 632 and the parents’ trust as it indicated that O’Connor knowingly and intentionally exercised the power given him by his parents’ trust.  There was no need for O’Connor’s will to identify the exact title of the trust instrument.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1 (O’Rourke, Acting P.J.); August 29, 2018; 26 Cal. App. 5th 871