Although your Last Will and Testament is likely the cornerstone of your estate plan, chances are good that your plan also includes additional estate planning tools and documents, such as a trust. In fact, trusts have become increasingly common in estate plans over the past several decades. If you have an existing trust and wish to make substantial changes you may be wondering “ How do I revoke my trust? ” Before rushing to revoke your trust though, you may wish to consult with your Missouri estate planning attorney to determine if you can revoke your trust and if so, if a restatement of your trust is a better option.
Trusts come in two basic forms – revocable and irrevocable. If you created an irrevocable trust you cannot revoke the trust once it becomes effective. Assuming, however, that your trust is a revocable trust you have options should you wish to change the terms of the trust. You may be tempted to simply revoke the trust outright and start all over should you feel the need to change the terms of the trust. Like your Will, you can revoke an existing trust agreement and create an entirely new trust agreement; however, revoking a trust agreement can create logistical problems that are not created when you revoke a Will. Ultimately, if you do decide to revoke your trust you should do so in writing with the assistance of your estate planning attorney to be certain that the trust is legally revoked.
When you created your trust you likely transferred assets into the trust to fund the trust. Should you decide to revoke the trust and create a new one you will need to transfer all of those assets out of the trust and then transfer them into the new trust once again. From a pragmatic standpoint this can be problematic. For this reason, you may decide instead to amend or restate your existing trust agreement.
Often, changes that you wish to make to your trust can be made by restating the original trust. In essence, this allows you to rewrite the terms of your original trust, making any and all changes, but without completely revoking the original trust. The benefit to restating instead of revoking is that all the assets held in the trust do not need to be transferred out and then back into a new trust.
If you are unsure how best to proceed with your trust agreement, contact the experienced Missouri estate planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.