MAKING CHANGES TO TRUSTS
Californians who have existing trusts may have changes in their lives that make them want to amend the documents. It is important for people who want to amend their trusts to do so correctly.
Some types of trusts cannot be amended. However, living trusts can be modified or even revoked. People who just need to make a few changes can include them on amendment forms that they include with their trust documents. If there are many changes that need to be made, it may be a better idea to draft a new trust. Having too many amendment forms with a trust can be confusing for trustees.
One drawback of starting over with a completely new trust is that people will have to retitle the assets that are held in the original trust to the new one. A way to avoid this problem is to create an amendment together with a restatement of the trust. This allows people to essentially create new trusts without having to retitle all of the assets.
People who want to make changes to their trusts might benefit by consulting with their estate planning lawyers who can advise their clients about whether they might be able to make the changes that they want by completing simple amendment forms. If more extensive changes are needed, the lawyers may assist their clients by drafting amendments with restatements of the trusts. This may help the clients to change the trusts as they wish while making certain that the documents are easy to understand for the trust administrators. The lawyers may also offer legal guidance about any other issues that might exist with the trusts or with the changes that the clients want to make to them.