Posted by Jeremy Swanson
On June 28, 2016

My Circumstances Have Changed, How Can I Amend My Trust To Reflect Those Changes?

There are many life changes that can affect your Trust, including sale of a house, sale of a business, divorce, remarriage, a change in who you want to be trustee, birth or additional grandchildren, or changed wishes for distribution of your assets.

Revocable Trusts (also called Living Trusts) can be changed at any time by the makers of the trust. It can be as simple as an amendment to substitute a new trustee, or an amendment to change the disposition of property. Sometimes, however, you may want to make a more major change that will require a restatement. A restatement incorporates all of your new terms into a new version of your trust. Because it is a restatement, property already placed into the trust is fine, while the terms and dispositions within the trust itself can change.

The most important thing to remember is that any change to your trust must be in writing and must be notarized, just like the execution of your trust initially. Oral/Verbal changes are never effective.

If you have a Will, rather than a trust, you can also change those terms, but this process is called a codicil, rather than an amendment.

In cases of divorce or remarriage, it is, in almost all circumstances, necessary to revoke your previous will or trust, and to execute a new one, because the change of married status is a major change that affects virtually every portion of the trust or will.

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.

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