Change is an inevitable part of life. Your estate planning documents need to change too. Just like a Will, you can make changes to your revocable living trust anytime before your death.
Meaning of Living Trust
Living Trusts are documents created by a person known as a “Grantor/Initial Trustee” who puts property into a Trust and enjoys the benefits of it during their lifetime. Upon the death of the person, the property is managed by another person appointed by the Grantor called a “Successor Trustee”.
The people who inherit the Trust property upon the death of the Grantor are the “Beneficiaries”.
In Living Trust, Grantor has full control over the property and can enjoy the property till he dies by naming himself/herself as the Initial Trustee. After the death of the Grantor, the administration of Trust Property is dealt by the Successor Trustee; in this way, the Successor Trustee works similar to that of an Executor of a Will.
What is the meaning of amending a Trust?
The meaning of the amendment of a Trust is to make changes. It can be done in three ways:
- Substituting the terms of Trust
- Adding something to the terms of the Trust, or
- Subtracting the terms of the Trust
The term “Amend a Trust” must not be misunderstood with the term “ Revoking a Trust”. Both are different. Revocation of Trust means to cancel/annul an existing Trust.
Reasons You Might Want to Change Your Living Trust
The common reasons why people amend their Trusts are:
- You got married recently.
- Birth/Adoption of a child
- Death of existing beneficiary
- Death for your spouse
- Change the Trustee/successor trustee
- Change the powers of the trustee
- You moved to a State with different inheritance laws.
Note: Simply adding a new property does not require the Trust to be amended. Just transfer the ownership of the property in the name of the trust. Your trust is designed to accept new assets.
Can I Amend My Living Trust Without an Attorney?
Amendment of a Living trust can be done without the help of an attorney unless you are not sure about the changes you are going to make or the changes might create confusion between the original and amended trust.
To amend your trust online you may refer to the Trust Amendment form on an online website like TrulyWill, and make changes to your existing trust and keep the original trust active.
If you have made a joint trust with your spouse, you both must agree to the changes made in the trust. After you are done with making the changes, sign your living trust amendment before a notary and keep it with the original trust document.
Note - Be very clear and specific while making changes to your trust. Mention the paragraph number which you are amending to avoid any confusion.
What is Trust Restatement?
In case you want to make several changes to your existing trust, you can refer to this method. Restatement of trust is the re-do of the entire trust. The existing trust remains in force but its provisions are altered by a new document.
This can also be done without the help of an attorney. All you need to do is complete the trust restatement form and restate the provisions of the original trust and its date of creation. You can make changes to your trust online also at an affordable cost by using TrulyWill’s Platform.
It is never a good idea to revoke a trust and create a new one for making changes to it as you will need to transfer all the assets again into the new trust which be time-consuming and overwhelming.