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The process of amending a revocable trust

by | Sep 23, 2020 | Probate & Estate Planning |

If you have a revocable trust, you can change the terms of the trust at any time. It is a good idea to inform your trustee of any edits that you have made as soon as possible. Generally speaking, the process of amending a trust involves little more than writing the amendment and signing it in front of two witnesses.

Add a new page to the existing document

To alter an existing trust, you will state the changes you wish to make on a blank piece of paper that has the word “amendment” at the top. This page will then be added to the existing document before it is returned to your trustee or attorney for safe keeping. You may also choose to keep your trust or other estate plan documents in a secure location at home.

Have your attorney review the changes

It’s generally a good idea to have an attorney review any changes that you make to a trust before you execute them. This ensures that they adhere to state law or will otherwise be upheld if challenged in court. Once the trust conforms to state law, you will sign and date the amendment page. The signing should be witnessed by at least two people or by a public notary. It is important to note that the trustee cannot serve as a witness.

Creating a trust can allow you to hold assets outside of your estate, which might make it easier to avoid probate, although in Pennsylvania avoiding probate is not always necessarily a good thing. An estate planning attorney can review your estate plan together with your living trust or any changes that you make to it. Legal counsel will also be to review any other estate plan documents that you already have such as a will or power of attorney.