A revocable living trust is one of the more commonly used estate planning tools for many people. These trusts offer flexibility, ease of use and other significant benefits if used properly. They also have the added bonus that they can be changed or reversed, though changing the terms of a revocable living trust requires some advance planning. Here’s what you need to know about changing living trust terms.
The simplest way to modify the terms of a revocable living trust is to create a trust amendment. An amendment is a document in which you detail what changes you want to make. The amendment must comply with any laws your state has about trusts and trust amendment, and is best used when you’re only making small changes.
If you want to make significant changes or completely alter the way the trust operates, you’ll probably need a trust restatement. Restatements essentially rewrite the terms of the trust and allow you to make significant changes.
Trustees and Trust Makers
A trustee cannot change the terms of a revocable living trust on his or her own. Only the trust maker, known as a grantor, trustor or settlor, can modify the terms, and if the trust requires it, must get the trustee’s consent in order to do so. If more than one person, such as a husband and spouse, created the trust together, both of them may have to agree to the changes.
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