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Legality of poa and amendment to trust

San Diego, CA |

my father gave me durable power of attorny over all his affairs. the poa states it takes effect immediately and is still in effect if he should become incompitant. it also states i have the right to ammend any and all trusts. this was signed aprox in january 07. on march 19,2007 i wrote up a amendment to his trust removing the names of the peoople he had listed to be trustees, and named myself to be the trustee. (which the poa specificaly stated that i could do that also). Sadly he passed away the next day march 20th. the problem i am having is getting a title company to transfer the title to the house into my name. all papers were notirized. does it make my amendment no good because he died the very next day? that's what these places are acting like. Also, just because the poa and the amendment to the trust were not done by an attorney, that does not make them any less legal does it?

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Attorney answers 2


Your questions pose many issues that would be better answered by an estate planning attorney. That being said, amendments to trusts must conform with the requirements for amendments, which are dictated by the original trust document. Look at the original trust document and see if the amendments conform with the requirements.


Unfortunately for you, the circumstances you describe leave you very vulnerable to challenges to your actions. That does not mean that you did anything wrong or that you weren't entitled to do exactly as you did. But any business that needs to rely on your documents in order to act will proceed with caution. I suspect the trustee that was replaced by the stroke of your pen is also suspicious and considering a challenge to your authority. The fact that no attorney was used does not mean the documents are not legal, but it adds to the whole picture. Other facts will certainly be relevant, including what your relationship was with your father (were you taking care of him), what was your father's mental condition when he signed the POA, and what are the specific terms of the trust (who are the beneficiaries, etc.)?

You really need to bring all of your papers to an attorney for review. Feel free to contact me, an initial consultation will not cost you anything. Regardless, good luck.

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