How to Make Revisions to a Revocable Trust

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When big changes occur in life, you need to think about revising your estate plan to account for them. This includes making revisions to your revocable trust. Maybe you need to change the trustee, add or remove a beneficiary, change one or more the terms of the trust or add some property to the trust. No matter what revision you want to make, the process is fairly simple.

Revise a Revocable Trust

Step 1

Read the original trust document to see if there are any special provisions describing or restricting how and when the trust can be revised.

Step 2

Follow the trust document procedures for revising the trust, if your trust document actually contains terms relative to revision.

Step 3

Prepare a document title "Amendment to (the Name of Your Living Trust)" and in this document provide details on how you want the trust to be revised.

Step 4

Sign the trust amendment form and have your signature notarized by a notary public.

Step 5

Attach the signed and notarized trust amendment form to your original trust document.

Warnings

  • There may be reasons why you don't want to amend your trust. For example, an amendment that removes a beneficiary or adds property could have significant tax consequences. Before you make a significant revision to your trust, think through the unintended negative consequences that could result from the revision.

Tips

  • Some states allow you to register your revocable trust with a government office. If you have registered your trust with your state agency, you should also file a copy of the amendment form with the same state agency.
  • You can revise your trust more than once. To keep things clear, number your trust amendments. The first time around, call it the First Amendment to Living Trust, and the next time, the Second Amendment to Living Trust and so on.

References

  • "Nolo's Make Your Own Living Trust"; Dennis Clifford; 2009

About the Author

The Constitution Guru has worked as a writer and editor for "BYU Law Review" and "BYU Journal of Public Law." He is an experienced attorney with a law degree and a B.A. degree in history with an emphasis on U.S. Constitutional history, both earned at Brigham Young University.

Photo Credits

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