The trustee of the family trust was suffering a diagnosed senior dementia

by William
(Long Beach, CA)

My mother & father established a family trust in the 70's.

Dad passed away short time later leaving mother who over time dropped in to a state of mental disorder and fell under the influence of some ostensible friends who proceeded in altering the trust cutting me only son to receive zero.

Mother was pissed off at me for some real or imagined offense. there was over a million dollars estate.

Am I simply SOL? everyone in family received over a $100 K each. distribution done. Am I done?

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Oct 05, 2011
How To Prove Undue Influence or Lack of Testamentary Capacity
by: Mo Johnson

Of course no state law requires a parent to leave anything to a child. So, I think you have two options. One is to accept what happened and not fight it. The other is to try to contest the validity of the changes made to the trust when you were apparently removed as a beneficiary of it.

You need to show either undue influence or lack of testamentary capacity. To show undue influence, it would require that you show your mother's freedom to choose was overcome by someone exerting pressure or using some kind of coercion so that your mom could not make her own choices at the time the trust was changed.

Alternatively and related you might be successful by showing a lack of testamentary capacity. For a will or trust to be valid, the testator or trustor (the person making the will or trust) must have testamentary capacity. Testamentary capacity exists when a person is fully aware of his actions and understands that he or she is giving away his assets. The person must also understand who his assets are being given to.

You would need to show that your mom lacked the mental capacity to change the trust; that her mind was so overridden by the influence of another that she didn?t have the mental capacity to execute a will or trust.

Obviously, this is all very fact-based and you regardless you will want to talk to a local estate planning or living trust attorney.

Good luck!

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