Can I use a POA to stop a trust from being revoked?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 21, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I have a POA my mom gave me when she had cancer. The POA gave me the power to sign for a revocable trust where she was one trustors of five, all siblings except one. The one trustor was the mother of all the siblings. The mother has died, my mom has died now and one uncle has died leaving just two trustors left who want to revoke the trust and rewrite it the way they see fit.

The trust is odd in that it named the trustors as trustees and if they died it went per stirpes to each trustees heir, showing that the trustees are the beneficiaries also. There were five equal shares but the mother's share went per stirpes to the four siblings, so now there are four equal shares, of which my mother had one in which I share with my brother and sister. In the trust, trustees were allowed to add capital improvments which became that trustee's personal asset to pay taxes on. I invested in a house which I am trying to protect, besides the one equal share my brother and sister share with me.

The trust is 25 years old to date. The POA that I have was notarized and had no ending date on it. It was her intention that it survive her death. The main asset of the trust is 360 acres of which my house is on. Can I use this POA to stop the two remaining trustors/trustees/beneficiaries from revoking the revocable trust.


Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

The power of attorney won't help you here. All rights and responsibilities you had under it ended at your mother's death"”no matter her intention that it survive.

But there is a lot at stake here"”your home, possibly your livelihood and your relationships with your relatives if that is a concern.

Sorry not to be able to provide more specific help or direction to you, but how your matter is resolved depends on several things: the exact wording of the trust, the actions and share of the other trust beneficiaries, other documents that may affect the property and rights at stake, possibly some fancy lipwork arguing for equitable treatment for all involved.

You are simply in the position in which it would be worth your time and money to hire a lawyer to represent your interests and eyeball the documents involved. Look for someone with experience and a good track record in handling estate planning disputes.