Changing a Living Trust

changing a living trustModification of a Living Trust

When most people speak of a living trust, they are referring to a revocable living trust. In fact, however, a living trust can be either revocable or irrevocable. As your College Station living trust attorney will tell you, he term “living” simply means the trust was created during the lifetime of the creator, or trustor, as opposed to after the trustor’s death, as would be in a testamentary trust created in a will. As the name implies, other than for very limited exceptions, an irrevocable living trust cannot be changed, but a revocable one can.

Amending a Revocable Living Trust

If the trustor wishes to change only part of the trust, a trust amendment is an option. For example, if a named successor trustee can no longer act in that capacity, an amendment cane be attached to the trust reflecting the change. In creating the amendment, it is advisable to:

  • Specifically refer to the paragraph in the trust
  • Quote the exact wording of the paragraph
  • State specifically the language of the replacement paragraph indicating the change

The trustor or trustors must sign and the amendment should be notarized.

Restatement

If significant portions of the trust need to be changed or if there have been many amendments added over the years, it may be advisable to revoke the original trust in its entirety and create a new one.  To avoid confusion and ensure the wishes of the trustor are followed, it is important to include language that specifically states the original trust was revoked and name the new trust as a restatement.

Other Considerations

Another option the trustor has is to terminate the trust and not create a new one.  This decision should not be made lightly and should involve the wise counsel of a College Station living trust attorney. If this occurs or if the named trustee is changed through amendment, it may be necessary to retitle assets. When assets are transferred to a trust, they typically are in the name of the trustee; if the trust no longer exists or if there is a different trustee, title must reflect that fact.

Contact a Lawyer for Legal Advice

For any question in amending or creating a living trust, call the experienced College Station living trust attorneys from Peterson Law Group at 979-703-7014.

About Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is an attorney and the owner and founder of Peterson Law Group, a Texas law firm with offices in Bryan/College Station and Kingwood. He mainly practices in the areas of Estate Planning and Business Planning. Chris is also a Certified Estate Planner. Besides his law practice, Chris is a serial entrepreneur and community volunteer. He is known for his cutting edge law practice that utilizes technology to deliver efficient, excellent work.