Yerington, NV asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Nevada

Q: A men and a woman, who are husband and wife, start a family trust. naming the womans two sons as sole beneficiarys ,

the man, who is the stepfather to the beneficarys, starts a charitable LLC. right after his wifes death. of whitch he is president and CEO. then two months before his death,he secretly amends the family trust to name his nonprofit as the sole beneficary. He removed the two blood heirs of his wife from lands that had been in her family for over a hundred years. Could the stepfathers changing the family trust be considered in violation of the rule against perpetuities, in that he is controlling from the grave? and undue influence from members of hes LLC.? The man left a provision in his amended trust that if the charitable trust LLC failed, the property would then go to a family fellowship church that the vice president of his LLC is the pastor, and the pastors wife is a board member of the charitable trust LLC. and the nonprofits LLC. office manager. is that considered undue influence by the pastor and his wife. the trustor named the church only, not the people as beneficiarys

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: There are way too many missing facts to answer your question. You really do need a full consultation for that.

My editorial comment here is if the wife really wanted to protect against this, then it was an estate planning failure, at least as to her share of the trust estate, because this could have been avoided by making the plan of distribution for her share irrevocable at her death. Or she could have entered into a contract with her husband not to change the plan of distribution. And there were other options.

Planning for blended families is complicated. Sometimes an attorney can explain the options and both spouses say they are not actually worried about the surviving spouse disinheriting the natural heirs of the first spouse to die, so that is also what might have happened.

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