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  1. #1
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Does a Beneficiary in a Living Trust Who is Not a Trustee Have to Approve of Changes

    My question involves estate planning in the state of: MN

    We have a revocable living trust in place for my Alzheimer’s mother who I have durable POA over and transferred by deed the property into the trust. My question is does a beneficiary in a living trust who is not a trustee have to approve of changes to the trust that affect the said beneficiaries distribution?

    The Trust specifies that upon death the assets will distributed equally and the trustees want to change the distribution so a small percentage of the property will remain in the family forever.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Does a Beneficiary in a Living Trust Who is Not a Trustee Have to Approve of Chan

    Unless the beneficiaries are currently receiving benefits of the trust and it is even limited then, the bene's have no input on how the trust is treated. They have a future interest but no current interest. As such, they have no input.

    Remind them that it is revocable. You do have the right to terminate the trust or create a new one and transfer the assets to the new trust, of course barring there is something in the trust documents that would prevent you from taking such actions.

    The trustee can take whatever actions the trust documents allow.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Does a Beneficiary in a Living Trust Who is Not a Trustee Have to Approve of Chan

    The Trust document calls for the trustees to distribute the assest of which the biggets is a 160 acre farm. The Trustees wish to take the 148 tilable acres and distribute that equally and keep the 12 acre building site include the house for the future generations to use and enjoy. Three of the four beneficiaries are infavor of that plan and they are also the trustees.

    There is a will that also has the same language in it.

    I understand the right to change other ares of the trust but not sure about the current stated distribution.

    currently no one is recieving anything from the trust. The Trustees are doing everything for free to include payment of bills, taxes etc for Mom.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Does a Beneficiary in a Living Trust Who is Not a Trustee Have to Approve of Chan

    The trustee(s) can only modify the trust, if the trust document allows for them to modify it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Does a Beneficiary in a Living Trust Who is Not a Trustee Have to Approve of Chan

    the will has no effect on anything in the trust. The trust controls what is in the trust.

    the trustees cannot alter the trust. They can only act within what the trust allows. As POA you can control your mothers assets which, in a revocable trust, also includes the trust. You need to be cautious as you are apparently a trustee and a bene of the trust. It doesn't take much of an argument to claim abuse of the POA for a personal benefit. I would have a lawyer bless just about anything you do, before you do it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Does a Beneficiary in a Living Trust Who is Not a Trustee Have to Approve of Chan

    Quote Quoting wrjorgen
    View Post
    We have a revocable living trust in place for my Alzheimer’s mother who I have durable POA over and transferred by deed the property into the trust.
    It seems reasonable to infer from your statement that your mother is no longer competent - if she were, she could resolve this dispute according to her own wishes. Per the terms of the trust, when does it become irrevocable - upon death, or upon disability? What powers are granted to the trustee to manage the trust and its contents following incapacity? What, if any, powers do you have over the corpus of the trust or continuation of the trust pursuant to your power of attorney?
    Quote Quoting wrjorgen
    Remind them that it is revocable. You do have the right to terminate the trust or create a new one and transfer the assets to the new trust, of course barring there is something in the trust documents that would prevent you from taking such actions.
    If competent, the settlor can revoke her trust, but I would be surprised if the power of attorney gives its holder the right to revoke the trust and design and implement a new one. I would also be surprised if the trust permits the actions proposed by the trustee, but as jk notes the trust documents govern.
    Quote Quoting wrjorgen
    View Post
    There is a will that also has the same language in it.
    The same language as the trust, or the same language as the proposed distribution that differs from the trust? If the property is in the trust, the terms of the will aren't operative as the trust's assets won't be distributed through probate. If the trust were somehow revoked such that its assets were returned to the estate, the will would govern distribution.

    It sounds like there are sufficient assets in the trust to justify having the documents and plan reviewed by an estate planning lawyer, who can advise you as to your rights as POA, trustee and beneficiary.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    10

    Default Re: Does a Beneficiary in a Living Trust Who is Not a Trustee Have to Approve of Chan

    Thanks Mr. Knowitall. Would you like to see the trust document and the will?

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