McClure v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 147 S.W.3d 648 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2004, pet. denied).


Settlor created an inter vivos trust. Settlor retained the power to revoke the trust provided the revocation was in writing and the writing was delivered to Trustee. Later, Settlor executed a will leaving the majority of her estate to this trust. After Settlor’ death, a dispute arose as to whether a subsequent holographic will operated to revoke the trust so that trust property would pass under the terms of this will rather than the trust. The trial court granted a summary judgment holding that the holographic will did not revoke the trust.

The appellate court agreed. The court began its analysis by recognizing that if a settlor specifies the method of revocation, that method must be followed for an attempted revocation to be effective. The court explained that the key to deciding the case was whether this holographic will was delivered to Trustee prior to Settlor’s death. After examining the evidence, the court found nothing to raise a fact issue about Trustee’s lack of receipt of a notice of revocation. Accordingly, the court affirmed the summary judgment that Settlor had not effectively revoked the trust.

Moral: If a settlor specifies a method of trust revocation, the settlor must comply exactly with that method for a revocation to be effective.