Media outlets reported that Vanessa Bryant filed a petition to add her and Kobe Bryant’s youngest child Capri, to his trust. The late NBA star had not yet amended his trust to include the 9-month old. Reportedly, the terms allow Vanessa and the surviving children to draw off the trust during Vanessa’s lifetime and the named children split the funds after her death. Capri is not included. If terms of a trust are not broad enough to allow for future-born children, then a petition to modify the trust may be necessary.
In Michigan, a trust may be reformed on certain grounds. The most common ground for reforming a trust is mistake. A court may reform a trust, even if its terms are clear, to conform to the Settlor’s (the person who makes the Trust) intention if both the Settlor’s intent and the terms of the trust were affected by a mistake of fact or law and it is proved by clear and convincing evidence. A court may also modify the dispositive terms of a trust if, because of unanticipated circumstances, modification will further the Settlor’s stated purpose or probable purpose. If the purpose of someone’s trust is to provide for their spouse and children after they are gone and a later-born child is not included, a petition to the Probate Court to reform the trust is the next best step to remedying the situation.
Ideally, once life changes, we immediately make an appointment to have our estate plans updated. Unfortunately, leading hectic lives with constant change, we don't always get around to it. However, all may not be lost. Questions? Concerns? Contact Great Lakes Legal Group today!!!