My dad passed in 2012. I assumed that I was a 50% beneficiary based on a 1999 trust under which there are securities registered. He apparently made a new trust in 2005 writing me out completely. Since the securities were never reregistered under this new trust ,is the 1999 trust still valid?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Unless a trust is funded (assets in the name of the trust) it is ineffective.
It would be important to examine the provisions of the 1999 trust agreement. Generally, assets placed in a trust fund cannot be withdrawn except in accordance with the provisions of the trust agreement. It would be most unusual, but possible, that the trust agreement permits transfer to a subsequent trust. I doubt that you will find this provision in the 1999 trust agreement. The 1999 trust agreement might have been revocable by your father, and in that situation he would have had to revoke the trust and transfer the assets to the new trust. Apparently, no transfer of assets was made. My guess is that you have a very strong case to claim 50% of the assets in the 1999 trust.