Can my elderly Mother change her “Will” if she is of sound mind?

Q: My Mother wants to change her “Will” to reflect the current state of affairs within our family while she is still of sound mind. My sister, the only other family member and the current Trustee, continues to hide behind an Irrevocable Trust written for our Mother signed in 2012. There is language in the Trust which allows Mom to remove and replace Trustees. However, my sister insists she will fight ANY attempt to change her legal status by using money from the Trust to thwart our Mother’s actions and intentions. Is this possible?

A:  If your mother signed an “irrevocable trust”, she may not be able to revoke it. It all depends on the language of the trust. It sounds unusual that it is an “irrevocable trust” yet she retains the power to remove and replace trustees. I assume the trust holds most of her wealth? If so, you need an experience estate or trust lawyer to read the Trust Instrument and see what if any powers your mother has retained to revoke or change. If there is property your mother will pass on upon her death that is not included in the trust, she can dispose of that property by a will, so long as she is of sound mind to do so.

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