What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Oklahoma
Ok, my mother died 2 weeks ago. I found out 4 days ago that I am the trustee of the trust. My dad had written my sister out of his will because she and her husband had stolen in excess of $100k from my dad & mom (this is stated within the trust documents). However, my dad passed many years ago, and my mother took the will, and eventually turned it into a trust, with the exact same language contained in it (that my sister was to receive NOTHING). My sister found the trust documents, and badgered my mother until my mom finally gave in and had an amendment to the trust made which made her a beneficiary. This is where the problem starts.....
The amendment specifically changes (by replacement) 3 paragraphs within the trust documents, and nothing else. So the original text that wrote my sister OUT of the trust still remains (it was not changed or replaced by the amendment). Therefore the amendment and the original trust documents are in conflict. There are also numerous other paragraphs within the original trust that conflict with the amendment (again, these are paragraphs which were not replaced or changed by the amendment). There are literally pages upon pages of contradictions that are caused by the amendment, and it also causes many holes in what is supposed to be done. ie: one beneficiary is to be paid XXXX amount by the trust per the original documentation. That paragraph still remains, however, the source the money was to come from is now being given to my sister per the amendment. Therefore, I have a beneficiary named, and amount I am supposed to give them per the documents, but no longer have a means to do it because of the amendment.
In another instance, per the original documents, I am supposed to create a trust within the trust for a beneficiary and deposit XXXX amount in it, then set it up to where they get quarterly payments until such time as that amount is used up. This is a paragraph which was not deleted or changed by amendment. Again tho, the beneficiary is named and I have all of the details of what I am to do, but the funds come from that same exact source that has been allocated to my sister per the amendment. Stuff like this happens several times within the trust because of the amendment.
The amendment makes a complete mess of the trust. It was not handled properly. It's almost as though my mother did it on purpose so I would have recourse, when the time came, to carry out her and my father's original wishes.
The original trust is extremely detailed (over 47 pages in all) with numerous redundancies. My dad feared my sister would find the will/trust after he died, and would coerce my mother into making changes. So he went above and beyond in building redundancies into the will/trust (thankfully) and went out of his way to make it confusing to the average joe (such as my sister) in hopes they wouldn't be smart enough to understand it and therefore wouldn't have it changed or deleted. It was his hopes that she wouldn't catch all the verbage if she coerced my mom into making changes, and luckily, she didn't.
One of the powers he left me as the trustee was the right to exercise good judgment in interpreting the trust, and that whatever decision I am to make thereto is binding and not contestable. My decisions about trust matters are to be final and binding, and no one is allowed to take legal action against me or the trust, less they lose any and all benefits and be left with only ONE dollar. (The language is much more extensive than that, but that's the jist of it).
So my biggest question is, since the amendment makes such a mess of the trust, and since I know my mother was coerced into making the change, is there any way to have it stricken? Or can I simply over rule it "using my best judgement in interpreting the trust", since I believe it would be in the best interest of the original intentions and wishes of my parents, not to mention the fact the amendment makes a total mess of the trust?
Thanks in advance