James R. Cramer, Appellant,
Robert J. Edwards, Appellee.
from the Huntington Circuit Court The Honorable Thomas Hakes,
Judge Trial Court Cause No. 35C01-1602-TR-5
Attorneys for Appellant Bruce Norman Stier Logan & Stier,
LLC Fort Wayne, Indiana Wilford Allen Hahn Matheny Hahn &
Denman, LLP Huntington, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Renee L. Riecke William A. Ramsey
Barrett McNagny, LLP Fort Wayne, Indiana
James Cramer appeals the trial court's grant of summary
judgment to Robert Edwards, as personal representative of the
Estate of Paul H. Cramer and Successor Trustee of the Paul H.
Cramer Trust ("Edwards"). We affirm.
Cramer raises two issues, which we consolidate and restate as
whether the trial court properly found that the trustor
failed to properly amend her trust.
Deloris Brock had two children, Cramer and Paul Cramer. On
February 15, 2002, Brock, as trustor, executed the Deloris I.
Brock Living Trust Agreement ("Trust"). The Trust
Section A. Trustor's Individual Addition Rights. Trustor
may, during Trustor's life, by signed instruments
delivered to the Trustee, add Trustor's property to the
Section B. Trustor's Rights of Amendment and Revocation.
During the life of the Trustor, the Trustor may alter, amend,
or revoke this Trust Agreement, in whole or in part, at any
time or from time to time by an instrument in writing (other
than a will) signed and delivered to the Trustee; provided,
however, that the duties, powers and responsibilities of the
Trustee shall not be substantially altered or amended without
its written consent. From and after the death of the Trustor
all trusts created herein, and this Trust Agreement, shall be
unamendable and irrevocable.
App. Vol. II p. 17. Upon Brock's death, the Trust
provided for distribution of the Trust assets as follows: (1)
sixty percent to Paul Cramer, and (2) forty percent to James
Cramer. The Trust also allowed the Trustee to distribute
Brock's "personal effects" as directed "by
a separate written statement or list, prepared and signed by
the Trustor for that purpose, to those persons name[d]
therein." Id. at 18. The Trust defined
"personal effects" as "family assets . . . of
a personal or household nature, such as clothing, jewelry,
furniture, glassware, silver, works of art, pets, cameras,
appliances, consumer electronic items and collections."
On February 22, 2002, Brock conveyed, by warranty deed, her
residence to the Trust. On May 12, 2002, Brock also executed
a "Separate Writing to the Last Will and Testament of
Deloris I. Brock and the Brock Revocable Living Trust U/D/T/
Dated 2-15-02" ...