How to Make Changes to a Living Trust

By Beverly Bird

The ease with which you can make changes to your living trust depends on what kind of trust you created. If you made an irrevocable trust, you'll have an uphill battle. You generally cannot amend an irrevocable trust except under rare circumstances and with the express permission of the court. If your trust is revocable, however, you can make changes any time you like.

Step 1

Go online to find a form for a revocable living trust amendment. This is not a document you must file with a court, so it doesn’t require exact language and wording. However, there are certain things you’ll want to include, so having a format to follow is helpful.

Step 2

Write your amendment. Print the name of your trust at the top and state if this is the first change you’ve made to it. If it is not, itemize the other changes you've made; list them by date. State whether this amendment supersedes the other changes, or if you intend them to remain in effect in addition to this new change.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Step 3

List the articles or numbered paragraphs in your original trust document that you want to change. After you cite each article or paragraph, state expressly that you are amending it to the language that follows. Detail the new, altered provision you want to include.

Step 4

Take your completed amendment to a notary public, along with a photo ID. Not all states require that you have your amendment notarized; check your state’s website to find out if yours does. You might want to have it notarized anyway. It can’t hurt and it might avoid any question after your death that you really intended to make this change and weren’t just considering it.

Step 5

Attach your notarized amendment to your original trust documents. Store them together. This will ensure that your successor trustee, the person you’ve appointed to take over management of your trust after your death, knows about the change and implements it.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to Amend a Last Will & Testament
 

References

Related articles

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.

How to Prepare an Amendment to a Revocable Trust

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.

How to Change a Living Trust After the First Spouse's Death

If you and your spouse created a revocable living trust, you can change all or part of the trust after your spouse's death. A traditional living trust allows you to change the terms by creating an amendment or making a new trust agreement. If you have an "A-B" trust, your trust splits in two at your spouse's death and you can't change your spouse's part of the trust. Your part is the survivor's trust and your spouse's part is the bypass trust. Your original trust agreement already contains the terms for both the survivor's trust and the bypass trust. You can change the survivor's trust as you would a traditional living trust until your death.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Amending a Testamentary Trust

To set up a testamentary trust, you include language in your last will and testament stating your intention to ...

How to Revoke a Living Trust

If your trust is revocable, you have the right to amend it at will. However, sometimes the changes might be so ...

How to Modify a Living Trust

A living trust is a legal document that can benefit you and your beneficiaries during and after your lifetime by ...

How Do I Modify My Address on a Petition for Divorce Form if I Recently Moved?

In all jurisdictions, divorce petitions require that you include your address. In conjunction with your statement ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED