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Hi, this is Stewart Albertson with Albertson & Davidson.  And I want to talk to you about an issue that we have seen come into our firm from time to time and that’s heirs coming in with a copy of their parents’ trust and they have the belief that they’re not able to contest that trust.

Let me give you an example:  Let’s say that mom and dad created a trust in 2010 and they split their estate between their three children equally.  It’s a three million dollar estate and so each one of their children is going to get one million dollars each.  But two weeks before mom and dad passed away in a car accident, one bad brother of the three children got mom and dad to change their trust with an amendment and in that amendment, everything goes to that bad brother and it excludes the other two children.  So now the two children that are out have lost a million dollars each and the bad brother is going to walk away with three million dollars.

The people that have been hurt and harmed in this case come and visit in our office and they’ve been told by other attorneys, they’ve been told by other family members, that you simply aren’t going to win this.  You can’t contest it.  You can’t challenge the amendment that your brother did.  And all that of that, I want to assure you, is false.  If you have been disinherited under the facts as I just presented them, you clearly have a right, a fundamental right, to bring a claim in the Probate Court and ask the Probate Court to look at this amendment, looks at the facts surrounding the creation of this amendment, and ask the Probate Court to invalidate that amendment and go back to the original trust, where your parents truly intended that each one of the siblings get one million dollars each.

So at the end of the day, to make sure we’re conveying to people that are having in this field with trusts and estates and amendments being made late or trusts being made late in a mom or dad’s life, you can contest them in the Probate Court.  Whether you win or not is a separate issue, but you certainly can contest them in a Probate Court.