Creating an estate plan is often just the first step in a decades-long process. This is because estate plans are carefully crafted for the specific goals and circumstances of your family. Over time, these goals may change and your estate plan has to change along with it. Fortunately, preparing an amendment to a trust is a straightforward process. Following are six helpful tips for updating revocable living trusts:
- Trust amendments in should be signed with the same formalities as an initial declaration of trust.
- If the update to the trust is simple or small, consider using an amendment that ratifies the remaining unchanged portions of the original trust.
- If the update to the trust is substantial, consider preparing a complete restatement that revises all of the terms of the original trust.
- Trusts can be amended as frequently as the creator of the trust wants.
- Trust amendments should be reviewed and overseen by an experienced attorney. While a simple change may seem straightforward, when read in conjunction with the rest of the trust and overall estate plan, a revision could have negative consequences.
- A trust amendment should include a reference to the original trust and be stored with that document.
Once the amendment has been executed, its terms will control over the original version of the trust. This is true for any future amendments to the trust as well—the most recent trust amendment is the final word on the terms of the trust instrument. To avoid confusion and conflict, all updates should be stored together and in a safe place.
To learn more about modifying your revocable living trust, be sure to peruse our extensive library of articles and sign up for our free newsletter today. If you have questions or need assistance revising your trust, give us a call to schedule a meeting with one of our experienced attorneys.