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Trust Restatement and Trust Amendment

Trust Restatements and Amendments: Understanding and
Contesting in California

In this section, we’ll explore the concepts of trust restatements and amendments, and provide insights into how they can be challenged in the state of California.

What is a Trust Restatement?

A trust restatement is a legal document that involves rewriting the terms of an existing trust without changing its basic structure. It allows grantors (creators of the trust) to make comprehensive updates, clarify provisions, and incorporate changes into the trust instrument. The restatement, like the original trust, must comply with California legal requirements for execution and validity.

What is a Trust Amendment?

A trust amendment is a document that makes changes or additions to specific provisions of an existing trust without rewriting the entire trust document. This flexible tool allows grantors to adapt their estate plans to evolving circumstances. Similar to the trust itself, amendments must follow proper execution procedures under California law.

Grounds for Contesting Trust Restatements and Amendments

While trust restatements and amendments provide flexibility, they can also be subject to legal challenges in California. Common grounds for contesting include:

  • Lack of Capacity:
    Allegations that the grantor (the person executing the trust) lacked the mental capacity to understand the changes made in the restatement or amendment. Probate Code Sections 810-812 address capacity in estate planning matters.
  • Undue Influence:
    Claims that external factors or individuals exerted improper influence over the grantor in making changes. Welfare and Institutions Code §15610.70 defines undue influence and identifies the elements which will be used to determine if undue influence was exerted.
  • Fraud or Forgery:
    Challenges asserting that the restatement or amendment is fraudulent or contains forged signatures.
  • Improper Execution:
    Disputes arising if the restatement or amendment was not executed according to California legal requirements. Probate Code Sections 15201, 15202, 15203, 15204, and 15205 address the essential elements of trust formation.

How Estate Law California APC Can Help

Estate Law California APC is well-equipped to handle contested trust restatements and amendments in California. Estate Law California APC works vigorously to protect the rights of Estate Law California APC’s clients, whether you seek to uphold the authority of a trust restatement or amendment or challenge the validity of such an instrument. Contact Estate Law California APC today to schedule a free telephone consultation and discuss your specific situation.

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