Most trusts do not undergo change after the creator of the trust passes away. Irrevocable trusts are unchangeable, as stated in their name. But there are some instances where a trustee has the power to remove a beneficiary.
What Is a Trustee?
A trustee is a person responsible for taking action on the trust according to the instructions left by the creator of the trust or grantor. A trustee can be a financial professional, a family member, or a surviving spouse.
A beneficiary is someone who will receive a sum of money or assets at a specific time or in increments. This is often an heir or descendant of the grantor. The trustee has detailed instructions on when to disperse the funds and must follow those orders.
However, there are exceptions to the instructions a trustee must follow.
Power of Appointment
If the grantor gives the trustee access to the power of appointment, the trustee will be able to make changes in beneficiaries.
The most common case of accessing the power of appointment is when it is offered to a surviving spouse.
For example, if the grantor passes away and the surviving spouse has the power of appointment, they can make changes to the trust. Perhaps the surviving spouse does not get along with the stepchildren. In that case, they can remove the stepchildren from the list of beneficiaries.
What to Do If You Suspect a Removal of Beneficiary
If you are a beneficiary on a trust and suspect that your name could be removed from the list of beneficiaries, you can take action now. Hire a lawyer to enter trust litigation and fight for your rights, including finding out the grantor's intent and if the trustee is in line with it.
Miles & Hatcher, LLP, can help you find answers to a pending trust. You do not have to sit by and wait to hear the news on the trust. Instead, enlist the help of an expert lawyer. Our team will stay by your side through the process and fight for what you deserve.
Call to schedule a free consultation: (909) 481-4080.