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Seniors Signing Trusts Should Not Trust Some Trustees

New Yorkers will no doubt have heard about the what you could call the worst son in the world who apparently attempted to evict his 98-year-old mother, Mary Kantorowski, from the home she had fought tooth and nail for, as reported by Connecticut Post. No doubt even the otherwise jaded New Yorkers shook their heads and groaned.

However, what many New Yorkers might not have picked up on in the Mary Kantorowski's worst son in the world story is that she ended up in this position due to bad estate planning and to a senior signing a trust that may be she should not have, reports The Times Record-Herald of Middletown, New York.

The basic issue as encapsulated by the news is this: “Apparently, the woman had signed a deed transferring her home into a trust.” Did you catch that last word? Yes, a trust, that essential building block of estate planning. In this case it actually led to a problematic result for the person that had created the trust.

How could such a thing have happened? Easy, explains The Herald-Record:

Despite provisions in the trust promising that the mother would have the right to live in the home for life, there was nothing to prevent the son, as trustee, from transferring the home out of the trust and depriving his mother of her rights.

Or, in terms that New Yorkers might understand, the mother got played by the son, who also happened to be the trustee.

At the time when a trust is being created, some parents are simply unwilling to openly say that they do not actually trust the trustee; or, at the least, they don’t have their lawyer make a sweeping evaluation of whether their children are reliable. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that when property is involved, sometimes no one can be trusted, and that includes your own flesh and blood.

This might be difficult information for you to articulate to your attorney, but remember that estate planning is an area of law that confronts death on a constant basis, so really nothing is not too dark for an estate planning lawyer.

For more information on seniors signing trusts and other estate planning issues, please see the information below.

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