If you need a good scare, this DIY estate planning case should do the trick.

In Centrue Bank v. Voga, an Illinois court case decided last month, a woman tried to amend her late father’s trust to include benefits for her sister. Although the late father had named the woman his power of attorney (POA), the POA didn’t include the magic language that would enable her to modify the trust. That meant that her changes went “poof” when she went to court, and both she and her sister got shut out of the trust. You can read the case here: https://courts.illinois.gov/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2020/2ndDistrict/2190108.pdf

The woman probably didn’t know about this little corner of estate planning law when she tried to make the changes. Why would you if you weren’t an estate planning attorney?

But that’s exactly why you need an experienced attorney who concentrates in this area of the law to guide you through the details. What you don’t know can really hurt you.

If you need to set up or change a trust, don’t let the DIY route come back to haunt you – we’re here to help. Give us a call to talk about your situation.

Published October 2020