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Case No. 19-1423

In the Matter of the Sandahl Trust (2017)

Karin L. Sandahl, Suzanne Morton-Miller, Elise Donnon, Craig B. Sandahl, and Stephen Sandahl, Appellants

Attorney for Appellants

Steven P. Wandro,  Brian J. Lalor, and Kara M. Simons

Attorney for Appellees Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

Matthew C. McDermott (until withdrawal), Wayne E. Reames, and Ryan G. Koopmans

Attorney for Appellee Cathedral Church of St. Paul

Thomas T. Tarbox

Attorney for Appellee UnityPoint Health-Des Moines Foundation

Thomas J. Houser

Attorney for Appellee Mayo Clinic Foundation

Jay Syverson

Attorney for Trustee Iowa State Bank

D. Scott Simpson

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Oct 07, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Craig E. Block, Associate Probate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (14 pages)

            At issue is whether a document Craig Sandahl signed the day before his death is an amendment to the Sandahl Trust 2017 (“Trust”) or a letter of instruction to his estate planning attorneys.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the October 13, 2017, document to be ambiguous and void for vagueness.  And after reviewing the record, we, like the district court, do not find persuasive extrinsic evidence to resolve the multiple ambiguities within the document.  Thus, we agree with the district court that the October 13, 2017, document is not an amendment to the Sandahl Trust 2017.

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