How to Prepare an Amendment to a Revocable Trust

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You create a living trust to transfer assets to the control of a trustee, who has the legal authority to manage the assets and distribute them to your named beneficiaries according to your instructions. A revocable trust is one that you may legally amend at any time with the use of a simple amendment.

Obtain a copy of your revocable trust. The document should be kept in a safe place, either at home, in a safe deposit box or with the attorney handling your estate-planning work. Ensure that this copy of the trust is the latest version and that your trustee is aware of the amendment you will be making.

Read More: How to Amend a Trust to Add a Co-Trustee

Write up the amendment to your trust. Use a blank page with the heading "Amendment," and describe the changes you wish to make in the text below. Consult an attorney before completing this step, as trust amendments must conform to the laws of the state in which you reside.

Sign and date the amendment after the last paragraph. Have your signature witnessed by at least two individuals, neither of whom should be the trustee. Alternately, have your signature to the amendment notarized. A notary public holds a commission from the state to witness and verify signatures on legal documents.

Warnings

  • If you are considering a series of amendments or complex changes to the trust, consider revoking the original trust and drawing up an entirely new one. Confusion over the language of the amendments can create thorny legal troubles over the handling and distribution of the assets.

Tips

  • Make a copy of the amended trust and deliver it to your trustee. In order to carry out your instructions, the trustee must be notified of any changes in the trust. Make sure that any executors named in the trust -- whose responsibility is to oversee the distribution of your assets after death -- are informed of the amendment.