How can a revocable living trust be amended?

Trust Administration Melbourne, FL

The ability to amend a revocable living trust is an appealing advantage of a trust. The chances that you will never have to update or modify any part of an estate plan is slim, and a trust provides the flexibility needed to make these changes. This enables you to keep up with events that occur in life, provided you are not incapacitated. With a revocable living trust you can, at any time, revoke the estate planning document. Although you can change a trust, it must be done in certain way in order for the changes to uphold in a court of law.

Amending a Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust can be revoked, amended, modified, or changed whenever you find it to be necessary. However, how you do this will largely depend on your needs. In general, the following are ways to modify or amend a living trust:

  1. Ask a trust lawyer to prepare a ‘trust amendment’ that is legally valid in the state you are in. This will need to be signed and dated.
  2. Draft and sign a ‘trust restatement’ that is also valid in the state you are in.
  3. Draft and sign a revocation of the former trust and amendments. The property within this trust must be transferred into your own name. After which, a new revocable living trust will  be drafted and funded. The exception to this will be if you plan to cease the current trust and not reinstate it at all.

As you might notice, the third option is tedious, costly, and time consuming. Unless you are making drastic changes to the trust, you probably will not need to revoke the trust in its entirety. The first and second options are usually enough for anyone who would like to modify or add a beneficiary, has gotten married, had a child, or wishes to add new assets to the trust.

Amending a Trust

A trust amendment involves changing at least on provisions in this estate plan without undoing or revoking the trust in its entirety. If you carry out several amendments over the coming years, the changes can become unorganized and complicated. It is possible that the successor trustee will be required to sort through a large number of documents to understand everything and ensure it is settled in the proper way.

Restating a Trust

Instead of amending a trust you can restate it. This is not the same as revoking a trust, bur rather involves one document that states you are “restating” the trust with certain amendments. You will not need to transfer assets out and back in as would be required in a trust revocation.

A trust lawyer should include in the restating document that all provisions of the trust will be left the same except for what is part of this document.You can also repeat elements of the trust while incorporating new modifications. What stays the same is that the trust does not become revoked and all assets within the trust will continue to maintain the designated ownership.

When You And Your Spouse Manage a Trust Together

If you’re married and you and your spouse formed a revocable trust together, it is possible that it can be revoked at anytime, by either of you, unless very specific provisions regarding this have been stipulated. To change, modify, or revoke the trust, both of you must agree to this in a formal, written and signed document.

To find out more about amending a revocable living trust, call a lawyer for trust administration Melbourne, FL offers at The Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood today.