Can a beneficiary of a living trust protect their interests while the settlor is still alive?

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Can a beneficiary of a living trust protect their interests while the settlor is still alive?

We live in Australia. My husband is the oldest of 4 siblings. His 93 year old mother lives in care in the US where she has been a permanent resident since the 1950s. His mother’s affairs are managed by the youngest daughter. It appears there have recent major changes to her Living Trust that now apportions the majority of the potential estate to the 2 youngest siblings. Previously, and when the father was still alive, there was an equal split among the 4. Is there anything my husband can do to protect his interest?

Asked on May 5, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

From the way that you have phrased this question it appears that your mother in law is elderly and that she may be frail or losing her senses and that she may be being unduly influenced to change the legal documents that were in place for so long.  Unless that is the case a parent can do as they please and even disinherit children.  The other sibling that stands with you husband, where is he or she?  Maybe checking on Mom at this point is a good idea.  Obtaining guardianship or conservatorship may not be an option because of where you are.  You may have to wait to challenge until she passes.  I would consult with an attorney n the states.  Good luck. 


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