During your lifetime, you may update your estate plan several times as your circumstances change. In some cases, you may benefit from having a Trust in your estate plan. If you have a Revocable Trust, one of the useful features is your ability to amend and/or revoke the trust as needed. You can change the terms of your trust, alter it, or end it altogether. If you created a joint trust with your spouse, you must both agree in writing to amend any trust provisions (such as beneficiaries or the successor trustee).
There are several situations that may warrant amending your trust: you get married, you have children, you add valuable property to the trust, your spouse dies, a beneficiary dies, you move to a new state, you change your mind about who you want to inherit, or you change your mind about the successor trustee. You may need to revoke your trust if you have extensive revisions to make or you get divorced.
Because you have likely already transferred property to the trust, it is usually better to amend your trust rather than revoking it if you have any changes. Revoking your trust and creating a new one would require that you switch over all your property to the new trust. It is much better, then, to amend and restate your trust – meaning that you restate (or rewrite) your trust with whatever changes you need. Amending and restating your trust allows you to keep the original date and keep your property in the trust.
If you think you might benefit from having a trust in your estate plan, our attorneys would be happy to help you create one. Or if you already have a trust but would like to update it, our attorneys can help you with that as well.