trust document(DatedDec 3, 1993) states "any statement of revocation respecting community property shall require the signatures of both settlers". 3 months before 2nd settlers death, original trust was revoked,home was put into a new trust with new trustees and benefactors. Neither of successor trustees or benefactors were notified that original joint trust was unfunded and then revoked. New benefactor called to inform of disinheritance after death!
The timing of the revocation and creation of a new trust is suspect. What is the relationship of the new successor trustee and beneficiary to the recently deceased settlor? Capacity and undue influence are serious issues that need to be examined.
As to whether or not the surviving spouse could revoke and create a new trust, it depends on the language of the trust.
A review of all the declarations of trust, pour-over Wills, amendments and codicils, as well as all documents evidencing funding of the December 3, 1993 trust, would have to be conducted to determine what documents governed any present disposition.
Still, questions would probably remain which could only be decided by the probate court. If you are a beneficiary under the 1993 trust you should seek the advice and counsel of a local probate attorney to help you decide on your best course of action going forward.
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Wow, what a mess. I wholeheartedly agree with the recommendation that you consult with a trust litigation attorney to have him/her review all the documents to determine what happened and what your options are. It's unclear to me whether the house was ever transferred to the original trust, though you state that the trust was unfunded which indicates that it was not. If that's the case, then you would have to prove that the trustors intended to transfer the house to the original trust but for some reason failed to do so. Assuming you prevail on that argument, then the question of the validity of the revocation and new trust need to be addressed. A further complication is that this was an A-B trust, which means that the surviving spouse most likely would not have had the power to revoke as to all of the property (but again it's unclear what property was in the trust). With an A-B trust, on the death of the first spouse, his or her half of the community property and any separate property owned by him or her goes into an irrevocable trust (even if the division was not made at the time of the first death). The surviving spouse would not have the power to revoke that irrevocable "B" trust.
This response is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created as a result of this response.
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