What is the difference between a trust amendment and a restatement?

When it comes time to make changes to your estate plan, there are many options available. Your attorney can help you review these options and determine what type of change makes the most sense for your needs. If you have a living trust, you can either draft a trust amendment, or can draft a complete restatement. The following is an overview of each.

What Is a Trust Amendment?

A trust amendment is a legal document that is used to change specific provisions of a revocable living trust. Examples of changes to specific provisions of a trust includes changing the successor trustee, updating the beneficiaries, or changing specific bequests of the trust property. While the amendment to the trust changes these specific provisions, the remaining provisions remain intact. The amendment makes reference to the original trust document, and is signed by the creator of the trust, also known as the settlor or the grantor. The name and date of the trust remains the same.

What Is a Trust Restatement?

In some cases, the changes to the trust that are needed or desired are so extensive that the entire trust is rewritten. This is where a trust restatement comes in. A trust restatement completely replaces all of the provisions of the original revocable living trust with new provisions that meet the current goals of the creator of the trust. This type of document is often referred to as an Amendment and Complete Restatement, and is completed with all of the same formalities as the execution of the original trust document. The name and date of the trust remain the same.

Generally speaking, minor or isolated changes to a trust can be handled simply by using an amendment. With more extensive trust provisions, or in cases where multiple trust amendments have been used in the past, it may be best to consolidate all of these changes into a complete trust restatement. Doing so will simplify things when it comes time for your successor trustee to administer your trust.

We hope that you have found this breakdown about the differences between a trust amendment and a trust restatement helpful. If so, we encourage you to share it with your friends and family on Facebook. Someone you love may be planning an update to his or her estate plan.

 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm