For many people an estate plan includes much more than a simple Last Will and Testament. Although there are numerous estate planning tools and documents that can be incorporated into an estate plan, some are used more than others. Trusts, for example, are a common estate planning addition. Once created though, what happens if you want to change something in the trust?
For starters, not all trusts can be changed. Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed absent the intervention of a court, for example. Revocable trusts, however, can be modified by the maker. How you go about making a change to a trust depends on what type of change you wish to make.
A very minor change can sometimes be accomplished by a “margin notation” that is then initialed by you. This may work if you find a word or name spelled wrong; however, for most changes you should use a trust amendment or a trust restatement.
A trust amendment allows you to make more changes to the document and put all of them on one piece of paper that is then attached to the original trust document. For larger changes, a trust restatement may be needed. It may also be a good idea if you have amended a trust a number of times. A trust restatement essentially replaces the original trust while still preserving the original date and original terms. Any new terms or changes can be included in the restatement.
If you feel that you need to make changes to a trust, be sure to consult with your estate planning attorney to determine which is the right course of action in your situation.
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