Columbia, MO asked in Estate Planning for Missouri

Q: Can I amend a trust as the successor trustee based upon the oral directives made by grantor to me?

My father created a revocable living trust in 2015, making myself and two older sisters the beneficiaries. He placed his MO property into the trust and the trust directives are to split the remainder trust in equal shares between us three. However, in 2017 he purchased a property in PA to help out my sister going through a bitter divorce. In 2019 after the death of our mom, he told me I was successor trustee and that my PA sister would receive the PA house and that my other sister and I were to split the MO house. My father passed in March of this year and upon reviewing the trust I realized his oral directives conflict with the trust directives. He had also put my PA sister on the PA deed with successor in interest. She did acknowledged to myself and other sister our fathers directives that we were to divide the MO home two ways and she got the PA home. The trust does allow for amendment by my father, can I file an amendment to the trust based on his oral directives?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jennifer Sheila Kornblum
Jennifer Sheila Kornblum
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Springfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Your ability to make amendments to the trust will depend on the terms of the trust itself. Some settlers grant that power, others do not. If you and your siblings are all in agreement to follow your father’s wishes, however, you may be able to arrange it and still be adhering to the terms of the trust. You should consult an attorney to determine what your options are under the trust.

Nina Whitehurst agrees with this answer

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