Goetz, under a December 12, 2000 Second Amendment to the Goetz Revocable Trust Agreement. Respondent daughter, who was the father's estate's successor executor and the mother's estate's executor, opposed the motion. The statute clearly presumes that a grantor may reserve to himself, or grant to another person, the authority to revoke or amend an inter vivos trust. Law § 5-1502(A), (B) and (C), which set forth an attorney in fact's authority in relation to transactions involving real estate, chattels and goods, and bonds and shares, respectively, each contains a subsection granting the authority to execute and deliver a modification of a trust, mortgage or other instrument which the agent may think useful for the accomplishment of any of the purposes enumerated in N. To that end, a second amendment to the trust was prepared for Robert's signature.
The next day, the mother, as the father's attorney in fact, signed the amendment. OUTCOME: The son's summary judgment motion was granted, as was his petition, and the trust amendment the mother signed was declared to be void, and her attempted exercise in her will of the power of appointment granted in that amendment was likewise void. Verena's will was admitted to probate after this court granted summary judgment dismissing the petitioner's objections, [***320] which included a protest of the second amendment to the trust.
The amendment the father signed was not notarized, as required by the trust, so it was not effective. The trust and the power of attorney had to be construed as written, and the law did not allow a grantor's attorney-in-fact to modify a trust created by the grantor when the trust instrument did not explicitly authorize the method of amendment used, so the amendment the mother signed was void. The following day, Verena, as Robert's attorney in fact, signed the second amendment. Verena [*2] herself passed away on February 1, 2002, leaving a Last Will and Testament dated August 23, 2001 which expressly disinherited [**202] the petitioner and exercised the power of appointment in favor of her other three children.
More Like This Headnote Estate, Gift & Trust Law Modification & Termination HN7 A grantor's power of revocation of a trust has, historically, been deemed a personal right, terminating upon death, which cannot be exercised by an executor or legatee who is not granted that right in the trust. Sylvia Perle (respondent) is the successor executor of the estate of the late Robert Goetz (Robert) and the executor of the estate of Verena Goetz (Verena).
Under her will, the son received nothing, including a share of assets of the trust. Law § 5-1502G, regarding estate transactions, did not authorize an attorney-in-fact to amend a trust created by a principal. More Like This Headnote Estate, Gift & Trust Law Revocable Living Trusts HN2 N. More Like This Headnote Estate, Gift & Trust Law Modification & Termination HN5 N. She testified that she no longer recalled why not, speculating that perhaps she had doubts as to his competence.
273/2001 SURROGATE'S COURT OF NEW YORK, WESTCHESTER COUNTY 2005 NY Slip Op 25129; 8 Misc. OVERVIEW: The father, shortly before his death, signed a trust amendment revoking the trust's division of its residue equally among his children and granting the mother a limited testamentary power of appointment so she could adjust bequests among the children. Powers & Trusts Law § 7-1.16 provides that a lifetime trust is irrevocable, unless it expressly provides that it is revocable, and if it is, the trust may be revoked or amended in the creator's will, or by the method set forth in N. More Like This Headnote Estate, Gift & Trust Law Modification & Termination HN3 The scope of the authority to revoke or amend a trust is defined by the terms of the trust indenture and New York law, just as the scope of authority granted under a power of attorney is governed by the terms of the power of attorney itself, and, of course, the applicable law. On December 11, 2000, one of the lawyers who prepared the amendment took it to the Goetz home, but although Robert signed the document, the attorney did not notarize his signature.
More Like This Headnote Estate, Gift & Trust Law Modification & Termination HN10 Because an amendable trust remains ambulatory, alterations to it can affect a testator's estate plan in substantial ways, in the same manner as a codicil. The Goetz family trust was created on May 11, 1995 as a part of the family's estate planning by Robert, Verena's husband and the father of both the petitioner and the respondent.
More Like This Headnote Estate, Gift & Trust Law Powers of Attorney HN6 In general, N. More Like This Headnote Estate, Gift & Trust Law Revocable Living Trusts HN9 Revocable inter vivos trusts are commonly employed as estate planning tools and are coordinated with the grantor's will, functioning in much the same manner as a will. She opposes the petitioner's motion, contending that both the creation and exercise of the power were lawful.
On March 9, 1995, Robert executed a statutory short-form durable power of attorney in Verena's favor, granting her the full authority included in the form at that time.
More Like This Headnote Estate, Gift & Trust Law Interpretation HN11 Instruments must be construed as written, by their own terms, and courts may not add to or alter their provisions in the guise of interpreting them, nor interpolate into them broad grants of authority not included by the parties. Ackert III, Esq., Gersen, Blakeman & Ackert LLP, Attorneys for Petitioner, New York, NY. Boggio, Esq., Mc Carthy, Fingar, Donovan, Drazen & Smith, LLP, Attorneys for Respondent, White Plains, NY. Article ELEVENTH of the trust provides that the grantor reserves to himself the right to revoke or amend the terms of the trust during his lifetime.