Posted by Jeremy Swanson
On July 14, 2016

If I Create A Trust, Can I Change It Later?

A Trust can always be amended by the creators of the trust, unless the trust is an irrevocable trust. Irrevocable trusts are uncommon, and only used in special circumstances. Most trusts are revocable and can be changed via an amendment. The amendment can change the distribution of property, names or number of beneficiaries, the list of trustees for the trust, or virtually any other item.

The amendment to the trust has to be executed in the same manner as the trust itself to be effective—that is, notarized signatures by all trustors.

The one exception to this is in the case where two married people have a trust together and are getting divorced. In that case, you cannot change the trust unless both parties agree to do so. Most trusts have provisions that allow you to revoke the trust during the divorce process, but you need to have your trust attorney take a look at the provisions of the trust before you make any decisions during the divorce process.

Another exception is in trusts where one of two trustors has died, triggering a clause in the trust that makes it irrevocable. At that point, there can be parts (or all) of the trust that may no longer be changed, based on the terms and clauses in the trust regarding irrevocability.

DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.

NOTICE: This blog and all materials on our website constitute advertisement materials, and the promulgation of such materials is meant of the residents of the State of California only. The attorneys and this firm to not practice law in any other state. In addition, the promulgation of these articles does not in any way create an attorney-client relationship and any inquiries and information you may send to the attorneys should be general and not specific, as it is not confidential.

Read our previous post here