Changing Your Living Trust

Changing Your Living Trust

If you’ve already created a living trust, you may wonder if it is set in stone forever. Many people are wary of creating a living trust before they are sure of how they want to pass down their estate for fear that they will change their minds. However, you can change your living trust fairly easily, particularly if you have the guidance of a good estate lawyer.

Changing your trust is fairly easy – all you’ll need to do is re-state the new terms of the trust in a fresh document. You generally don’t need to revoke the entire trust and create a new one, as this can be quite expensive and take time to do. This is particularly important to keep in mind if you’ve already transferred a large amount of property into the trust, because it would be very difficult to have to remove it and transfer it into another one. If you are worried about re-stating the terms of your trust, you can work with a lawyer to make the process easier.

There are many different occasions when you might need to change your trust. The two biggest changes to the trust would occur if you get married or have a child. When you get married, you may want to change the trust to be held jointly with your new partner, or you may want to add your spouse as a beneficiary. You’ll also likely want to add any new children as beneficiaries. You also may have instances where you need to remove beneficiaries from the trust. This usually happens only if a beneficiary passes away or becomes estranged from you and your family.

You also may need to change your trust if you acquire new property that you would like to eventually pass down. This is fairly easy – all you have to do is amend the trust to include the new property, and transfer the property so that it is funded into the trust. You also might consider changing your trust if you have moved or are considering moving to a new state or country. This is because different governments have different laws regarding estates and marital property. You may want to check the laws in your new state before you move so you aren’t blindsided by any changes that need to happen.

There are also times when you may need to revoke your trust. Generally, this would only happen if the revisions you needed to make were so extensive that you could not re-state them in a new document, or you get divorced from your partner who holds the trust jointly. Revoking the trust is a simple process that you can work through with your lawyer, and you can always create another one once you’ve figured out exactly what you want the trust to include.

If you believe you may change your trust later on, you can still create one now and amend it later. It’s important to start estate planning early, as you never know what will happen later on in life, and it’s best to have a plan for the future that you can work around. Even if you aren’t sure exactly what you want to go into your trust or who your beneficiaries are, it will help to start thinking about it early so that you are better prepared to make important decisions when the time comes. Don’t hold back from creating a trust just because you think you may change it later – the process is very simple and can be managed easily with a good lawyer. In some cases, you may even be able to amend the trust without legal guidance as well.

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