Can a revocable trust be amended by thegrantor and be considered legal if not notarized or witnessed?

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Can a revocable trust be amended by thegrantor and be considered legal if not notarized or witnessed?

My brother and myself were to be beneficiaries of my father’s assets. Amendment says that his 4 grown children, my brother and I are now equal beneficiaries. I had no knowledge of this until after my father passed away; my brother and his kids knew all about it. Does real property (my father’s home and sale of it) if split 3 ways per amendment need to be notarized as amendment since it is real property. It is all very suspect to me. My brother is acting very cavalier about it. Is this legal?

Asked on January 15, 2012 under Estate Planning, Oregon

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, a revocable trust can be amended or revoked at any time by the grantor.  The rules permitting it are state specific and you should consult with an attorney in your area to be sure.  But I think that there is an underlying issue here.  I think that you are questioning not only the method but really the entire facts surrounding the transaction.  Do you think that your father was mentally competant to change the terms of the trust when he did or that he was unduly influenced by some one to do so?  If the answer is yes then you have a lot more that procedualr questions for that attorney.  Good luck.


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