The California Court of Appeal just handed down an opinion very strictly limiting the application of a no contest clause contained within trust to later trust amendments.
Peggy was battling cancer for 5 years, during which time her friends, Tracy and David, became the exclusive suppliers of medical cannabis upon which Peggy depended for treatment. Anticipating her demise, Peggy placed Tracy in custody of all of her estate planning documents. Soon after, Peggy complained that Tracy read the documents and confronted her about the disposition of her estate. Shortly after, Peggy executed a trust amendment created in secret, and without advice or assistance of her longtime estate planning attorney, leaving all of her money to Tracy – to the exclusion of Peggy’s brother and godchildren, natural objects of her bounty, and beneficiaries under the estate plan in existence when placed in Tracy’s custody. After Peggy’s demise, Tracy produced the trust amendment, and the beneficiaries went straight to court.