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1994 Living Trust Estate Plan


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#1 dmo48or

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:01 PM

Do we need to update a 1994 Living Trust Estate Plan? My parents are now in their 90's, have sold their home and properties, and are renting in a retirement facility. There are 3 daughters, each are Trustees, oldest to youngest, with Power of Attorney for property transfers (whatever that might mean).

#2 Fallen

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:07 PM

We cannot possibly know if your parents need to amend their trust. If they've sold all the major assets that were in the trust (or to be put in it by way of a pour-over will) ... seems there'd be no point. But strangers cannot know the answer from here.

Just because someone has a power of attorney, by the way, doesn't mean they get to decide what's what as it relates to non-trust property (unless the POA says so).

By the way, unless it's an irrevocable trust (which would make the reference to a (typical revocable) "living trust" contradictory), I suspect daughters are nominated as successor trustees. If they are in fact active trustees (by virtue of irrevocable trust or incapacity of a parent who is typically a trustee), they should have a better handle on what's what and ought to seek local counsel if they aren't clear on the terms of the trust.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#3 pg1067

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:13 PM

Do we need to update a 1994 Living Trust Estate Plan?


First of all, who are "we"? If the trust and estate plan were created by and for your parents, only they can update it (if necessary). Second, how should we know? If your intent was to ask whether it/they should be updated solely because they were created 19 years ago, the answer is no. Of course, circumstances may have changed such that updates may be necessary or desirable, but we obviously couldn't begin to know if that's the case.

To the extent your parents care, they should speak with a local estate planning attorney. Or, if you have a copy of the trust instrument, you can consult with an attorney and pass any recommendations on to your parents.

#4 californiawills

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:52 AM

If the trust and estate plan were created by and for your parents,only they can updated it.
or
If you have a copy of the trust instrument, you can consult with an attorney and passed and they recommendation on to your parents.


#5 pg1067

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:46 AM

If the trust and estate plan were created by and for your parents,only they can updated it.
or
If you have a copy of the trust instrument, you can consult with an attorney and passed and they recommendation on to your parents.


Any particular reason you simply quoted a portion of my response (with a typo of your own) in your response without adding anything of your own?

#6 dmo48or

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:11 AM

I realize only my parents can do the updating, and this would only be done with their knowledge. My sisters and I were asking because it's been 19 years, they've sold all their properties, etc., the law firm they went through has been dissolved, and they are in their 90's. We have the portfolio to follow and want to make sure everything is in order so there is no hassle after they pass. It is a revocable Living Estate. I will get local councel. Thank you.

#7 Fallen

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:13 AM

It must be done by their *act*, not just their knowledge, if they are trustees. Unless you are active trustee by way of their incapacity having triggered a given successor clause under the trust, it needs to be they who seek counsel to decide what to do or not, if need be.

If they no longer own anything of significant value or that doesn't pass by way of contract (say, pay/transfer on death beneficiary designation), I see no reason to spend money on counsel.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#8 pg1067

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:25 PM

My sisters and I were asking because it's been 19 years, they've sold all their properties, etc., the law firm they went through has been dissolved, and they are in their 90's.


Neither their age nor the dissolution of the law firm that prepared the trust instrument are relevant. I don't know what you mean by "all their properties," but that may suggest a review of their estate plan might be in order. However, if the trust was properly prepared, it would have provisions that address the possibility that assets mentioned in the trust instrument may not longer be owned at time of death.


We have the portfolio to follow and want to make sure everything is in order so there is no hassle after they pass.


Not really sure what the first part of this means. However, as I said before, if your parents are concerned, then can engage counsel or you can do it and pass on any recommendations to your parents.


It must be done by their *act*, not just their knowledge, if they are trustees. Unless you are active trustee by way of their incapacity having triggered a given successor clause under the trust, it needs to be they who seek counsel to decide what to do or not, if need be.


AND, if you are the trustee (or a co-trustee) by virtue of incapacity, it is entirely likely that the trust has become irrevocable (and, in any event, a person who is only the or a trustee has no authority to amend a trust unless the trust expressly bestows that power).




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