If you're considering making a change to your Revocable Living Trust, don't simply mark up your trust agreement and stick it back in the drawer. A trust amendment must be signed with the same formalities as the original trust agreement. Handwritten changes will either void the trust agreement or be ignored all together.
A Trust Amendment is used to change specific provisions of your revocable living trust. Changes to specific provisions of your trust may include changing the successor trustees, updating the beneficiaries, or changing specific gifts made to individuals. An amendment changes specific provisions of your revocable living trust but leaves all of the other provisions unchanged. Some examples include adding or deleting specific gifts made through your trust, changing who will serve as your successor trustee, or updating your beneficiary's or the successor trustee's legal name due to marriage or divorce. If the changes you would like to carry out are significant, like adding your new spouse as a beneficiary, completely cutting out a beneficiary, or changing from distributions to family members to distributions to a charity (or vice versa), a complete restatement of your trust is needed. In addition, if you've made a series of three or four simple trust amendments over the years and you would like to make another change, we would consolidate all of your changes into a complete restatement. This would provide your successor trustee with a single document to follow instead of needing to piece together the provisions of four or five separate documents. The original name and date of your revocable living trust will remain the same after either a trust amendment or a restatement in order to avoid retitling your assets.
At First Class Counsel we specialize in all aspects of your estate plan including amendments and restatements. Contact our firm today to learn more about updating your estate plan.