A living trust is a fully revocable trust that typically avoids the probate process. Trusts are established by a legal document and property is transferred into it. The trust is administered for your benefit while you are alive and its assets are only transferred to your named beneficiaries upon your death. One method used to change the terms is by restating the trust.
Amending Living Trusts
If you want to alter provisions in your living trust, you have two alternatives. You can draft and execute an amendment to the trust document containing the new language and attach it to the back of the document. Alternatively, you can rewrite the entire document, inserting whatever changes you desire as you go. This is referred to as restating the trust.
Advantages to Restating Trust
Generally, it is preferable to restate your trust than to draft a limited amendment. If you use amendments, the entire trust history is accessible. The successor beneficiaries can read through the documents when you die, noting the times you decreased or increased their shares. With a restated trust, you can destroy earlier documents.
Read More: Advantages of an Irrevocable Trust
Procedure to Restate
The easiest way to alter a living trust is to pull up the document on a computer and change it as you see fit. The new title must reference the original trust and its set-up date, and state this document is the restated version. You may execute the new document according to your state's laws, exactly as you would if you were creating a new trust.
Teo Spengler earned a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an M.A. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.