How to Restate a Living Trust

By Teo Spengler

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.

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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.

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How to Amend a Living Trust

References

Related articles

How to Make Changes to a Living Trust

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.

What Are the Rules for Changing a Living Trust After a Spouse Dies?

A living trust is a legal vehicle you can use to transfer property upon your death that avoids probate. If you and your spouse create a living trust together, you need your spouse's permission to change trust terms. After your spouse dies, you can only change the part of the trust that relates to your property.

How to Terminate an Irrevocable Trust

With a trust, you transfer assets to a legal entity set up to shelter your estate from the probate process. A trust allows you to control who will inherit your property after your death and give instructions to a trustee on how to manage that property. Although an irrevocable trust, in theory, cannot be changed or cancelled, there are ways to close down the trust and, if you wish, transfer assets to a new one. If the trust no longer serves the purpose for which it was set up, you may revoke it or draw up amendments that substantially change its terms. In most cases, this process will be subject to review by the courts to ensure that the beneficiaries retain the rights they were granted in the original trust.

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