What to do about an amendment to a Trust?

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What to do about an amendment to a Trust?

My mother passed away about 6 months ago. She had a trust drawn up 12 years ago, with an amendment drafted last year. Mom was diagnosed with demetia mild to moderate 3 years ago at age 81. The amendment was for 1 of the beneficiaries $30,000 owed to mom for an addition she put on her house for mom but mom only lived in addition for about 6 weeks. Mom went back to live at her own home for the remainder of her life with another daughter. Does the daughter that put addition on her home for mom have any grounds to disregard this amendment to the trust? I am co-executor and seems to be some talk of letting the courts handle this issue. The little bit of money left would get eaten up in no time with attorney fees. Mom was never deemed incompetent.

Asked on October 15, 2012 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I suggets that you consult with a Wills and trust attorney with respect to the $30,000 amendment to the trust with respect to the $30,000 and your suspicion such may have been given under duress and undue influence. The key is to ascertain if an attorney drafted the document and if not, then there is a greater case for undue influence and for the trustee to not honor the provision.

Remember the trustee of the trust can take the position to not honor the amendment based upon advice of counsel. If so, then the beneficiary if she wants the money will be forced to take action, not you. Your defense would be that her medical doctor would possibly be of the opinion that your mother did not have the mental capacity to have made the gift in the amendment when it was done.


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