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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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My brother was my dads Power of attorney when my mom died

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My brother was my dad's Power of attorney when my mom died 8 years ago. When that occurred dad began drinking more often. Unfortunately, all of us siblings and dad trusted my brother who was handling both my parent's trusts and the family business as well. He made many amendment changes to Dad's trust and eventually had him sign a trustee document making him the trustee of his trust. We are in Missouri. Is it required in MO that the trustee document selecting someone ( in this case, the POA) to take on the trustee role to be notarized? He did not have any of the trust amendments notarized when he was the POA after mom died and he had dad sign a ton of self benefiting amendments he didn't read due to his grief and drinking. After all that, he then had him sign a trustee document making him the trustee and dad signed it and again, this was not even notarized. Dad was drunk almost every night. So it was very easy to have dad sign things particularly since this son ran the family business and at that time he and all of us trusted him. Eventually dad figured out what he was doing and he told us other children ( of course he never copied any of us on any of these changes in the trust We helped dad get a lawyer since the lawyer handling the trusts was obviously letting all this happen and never thought to contact our father when he saw a flood of amendments come in after mom died and yet they never once had one amendment during the other 20 years my parent's were the trustees. Didn't that lawyer have some obligation to send a copy of all these changes to dad himself and/or us? Or at least check to be sure he was signing all of these himself since none of them were notarized? My brother locked him out of all his money and used his money to fight him legally. He asked him nicely to step down at first but he said "over my dead body" and therefore us other kids had to help him fight and had to pay the lawyer for him even though he had millions. Her trustee document was never notarized and dad was clearly drinking during that time as well as during the time she as the POA wrote the many amendments and had dad co sign them. It was a revocable trust at the time so changes could be made but I am asking if she could do so without having notaries present to ensure he was not being tricked while he was drunk or simply signing his name. What is the rule in MO regarding notaries on these trust documents? Is there anything that can be legally done?

Welcome! Thank you for your question.

 

Unfortunately the creation or amendment of a revocable living trust does not have to be notarized under Missouri Uniform Trust Code Section 456-006-602. http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C400-499/4560060602.HTM

 

The grantor (your father) does have to be competent to complete the amendments. Competency is the same requirements as that which is required to make a will under 456-006-601. http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C400-499/4560060601.HTM

 

The competency required to make a will is 1) knowing the nature and extent of his assets and 2) knowing who his natural heirs are at the time of making the revisions.

 

To prove that the amendments to the trust are invalid then you will need to prove that your father was incompetent at the time the amendments were made.

 

 

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I can provide you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you can find online, should not take the place of having a detailed consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

 

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Thank you,

John

 

John Elder and 2 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I still don't think you answered one key question. Does Missouri require the form that moves someone into a trustee position to be notarized?

Sorry I did not explain myself enough. No, the form that moves someone into the trustee position is a modification of the trust. All that it requires for a modification of trust (appointing a trustee) is that the document is signed by the Settlor of the trust. The settlor must be competent at the time. Since your father was drinking you may be able to prove that he was incompetent.
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