Although once used primarily by the very wealthy, a trust is now a common addition to any comprehensive estate plan. If you have included a trust in your estate plan you may find at some point down the road that you wish to make changes to your trust. Whether or not you are able to make those changes depends on the type of trust you created.
A trust in St Louis MO may be revocable or irrevocable. As the name implies, an irrevocable trust is one that cannot be changed, modified, or revoked by the maker (the person who created the trust). In very limited circumstances a court may make changes, or even terminate, an irrevocable trust but under no circumstances can the maker do so. This means that you cannot add a beneficiary, delete a beneficiary, add or delete assets, or even replace the trustee of your irrevocable trust once it becomes effective so care should be taken in the initial creation.
A revocable trust, on the other hand, can be changed, modified, or even terminated by the maker at any time and for any reason. There are two basic methods by which a change can be made to a revocable trust. The first is by a trust amendment. This is accomplished by reducing to writing the change you wish to make and titling it “Trust Amendment”. You will need to sign and date it as well. The amendment is then attached to the original trust documents and become part of the trust.
While a trust amendment works well for minor changes you may need to use a trust restatement for more significant or numerous changes. In essence, a trust restatement is accomplished by re-creating the original trust documents and including the changes you wish to make. The entire document is the trust restatement. Although it may seem as though this is simply creating a new trust, the legal distinction is important. By making it a trust restatement you are not required to remove assets from the trust and transfer them to a new trust which can be complicated and has a great potential for error. Using a trust restatement allows you to avoid this requirement.
In most cases, making changes to a revocable trust can be accomplished fairly easily; however, you should consult with your estate planning attorney to ensure that the changes are made correctly to avoid problems down the road.