Amending a Living Trust in California

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A revocable living trust establishes a plan for trust assets that provides payment to the trust's beneficiaries. A revocable trust can be terminated by the owner while he's still living. One advantage of having a revocable living trust is your ability to change the trust's terms at any time while you're still alive and competent. In California, you can change your revocable living trust by writing an amendment that complies with state law. California's trust amendment laws are found in Sections 15400-15414 of the probate code.

Read the trust agreement. Copy the terms you want to alter and what rules, if any, the agreement includes for amendments. Follow any directions in the agreement regarding changes.

Read More: How to Remove Property From a Living Trust

Prepare an amendment paper. Indicate the paper is a trust amendment at the top of the page. A common way to indicate this is by writing, "Amendment to (your trust's name) Revocable Living Trust" across the top of the page. In California, the amendment should refer to the living trust by name and the date it was created.

List the changes you wish to make to the trust on the form. Write the number of the provision in your trust that you want to change along with the text of the provision. State the new provision immediately below. Repeat for each amendment needed.

Bring the form to a notary public. Bring valid identification with you. Sign and date the amendment and ask the notary to notarize your signature.

Attach the form to the back of the trust agreement.

Warnings

  • A person who is serving under a power of attorney as your attorney in fact can't sign a trust amendment on your behalf unless the trust agreement specifically allows for it.

Tips

  • If you're making several changes to the trust, you can restate the trust agreement entirely on a new agreement instead of using an amendment form.

    You can ask any trustees named on the agreement besides yourself to sign the amendment in front of a notary as well.