Vela v. CRC Land Holdings, Ltd., 383 S.W.3d 248 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2012, no pet. h.).

Trusts

Revocability

 

The settlor created an inter vivos trust, conveyed property to that trust by deed, and later removed one of the trust beneficiaries.  After the settlor’s death when the remaining beneficiaries sought to partition the property, the removed beneficiary claimed that the trust was made irrevocable when the settlor deeded property to the trust.  The trial court rejected this claim and the appellate court affirmed.

 

The court explained that under Texas law an inter vivos trust is presumed revocable unless the trust expressly provides otherwise.  Trust Code §  112.051.  Although the removed beneficiary agreed with this rule of law, he claimed that the settlor’s deed of the property to the trust made the trust irrevocable because it used the term “forever” in the granting language.  The court held that this type of standard form language in a warranty deed did not reflect an intent on the settlor’s part to transform a revocable trust into an irrevocable one.

 

Moral:  Standard language used in a deed to transfer property to a trust does not have the effect of making the trust irrevocable.

 



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