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  1. #1

    Does anyone know if an 'Irrevocable Trust can be changed?

    Trying to help an elderly friend who's kids convinced her to change her trust to irrevocable. Now she is trying to sell her house and has no say in anything. She also has no control over her money without their permission.
    She's terribly upset. Her children live far away from her and have no idea what is going on nor want to.
    They have both agreed to sign off the Trustee positions due to continual arguing and unwillingness to help her.
    The lawyer she has said she cannot change the Trust and put himself on as Trustee.
    She is of sound mind. This should never had been done in the first place. She can control her own life at this point.
    Any advice would be appreciated,

  2. #2
    There's no better information source than a lawyer who has the document in hand. If there's a credibility issue with or doubt concerning that particular one, the alternative would be to take the document to another lawyer, explain the circumstances and concerns, and consider the resulting advice as conclusive.
    I believe a trust agreement can be ruled to be faulty and thus abandoned if it were entered into without the full understanding and permission of the grantor, or if it contains provisions that the grantor didn't desire. That's the domain of a lawyer to advise. Trust agreements have been known to be ripped up and redone in some circumstances, but I'm not advising that.
    (Trust agreements usually (always?) have provisions for change or substitution of trustees. If not A, then B. If not B, then C. When a trustee is still alive and otherwise able to act, a change will require that trustee to resign and appoint another consistent with the rules in the trust agreement)

  3. #3
    Thank you for your reply.
    Its complicated and my friend is meeting with a different Trust Attorney to get advice.
    The house she is selling (Trust) requires repairs which are very expensive. Asbestos, radon, electrical. It was built turn of the century. But is in a very exclusive area of NY, outside of Manhattan.
    My friend would have to use her small savings ($200,000) to fix these repairs which are required before a bank would give a mortgage. The Trustees (her kids) agreed to sell the house at a very low price for the area. The comps on her house is close to 2M. Kids told her to do the repairs. The only money she can access is whats in her savings.
    I told her to ask the attorney whether a loan could be taken against the house to finance the repairs so she doesn't need to use her savings. Once the house sells it all goes into the Trust (her kids).
    It doesn't feel kosher to me. Why doesn't the Trust pay for the repairs?
    I'm hoping tomorrow she can find out if the whole Trust can be changed. Her kids are angry with her. They dropped out of the Trust leaving the Trust lawyer in charge. But his firm is involved with the Realtor and the firm/ He wants her to do the repairs and sell at the low price.
    I'm so far away. I'm not sure how clear she can express herself to this new Attorney. She's European and in her 90's.
    I'm so troubled by this. I wish I was closer to help her out.

  4. #4
    Try googling elder abuse in her area, and see if you can find someone to help her. There are all kinds of agencies out there that should be able to help. These types of abuse make me crazy, I just will never understand how children can do these things to their very own parents.

  5. #5
    There are a few things that a red flags here for me. First, from what I know, the trust cannot be changed, but if she has a good relationship with her kids and they have no interest right now, they just need to sign the papers to sell the house. We set this up with my mom and we were told she could sell her house and buy another, but "the trust is the one that purchases", not her in particular. The trust is set up that way to prevent a nursing home in her later years from taking everything she owns. The second thing is, someone needs to get involved with the sale of this home. I find it hard to believe that she has 200k worth of repairs on radon, electrical and asbestos. The most expensive radon system I have ever heard of was $1800, the electric could be a few thousand and the asbestos, no where near hundreds of thousands.



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