Amending a Living Trust in California

By Anna Assad

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.

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.

Step 1

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.

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Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Attach the form to the back of the trust agreement.

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How to Amend a Living Trust

References

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How to Dissolve a Revocable Trust

A living trust is a legal agreement you draft regarding control and distribution of your assets while you're still living. The person creating the trust is referred to as the trustor or settlor, and the persons with authority to act on behalf of the trust are the trustees. A living trust can typically be ended or amended by the trustor at any time if the trust is revocable.

Amending a Florida Trust

A trust is an instrument that allows one party, known as the settlor, to contribute assets to the trust and to name another party, known as the trustee, to administer them for the benefit of named beneficiaries. Trusts are governed by state law, and Florida's trust code can be found in Chapter 736 of the Florida Statutes. The procedure for amending a trust depends on whether the trust is revocable or irrevocable.

How to Amend a Revocable Trust

One of the advantages of creating a revocable trust is your ability to amend it. Amendments are commonly made to add a beneficiary, such as a new grandchild, but can be used for virtually any trust purpose. Amending a trust typically requires a document --an amendment -- separate from the original trust document. Trusts are often executed with certain legal formalities. Writing on the trust document itself, even if you sign or initial the change, may not be effective and could cause confusion on the future. When in doubt, seek professional help.

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