How to Use a Revocable Living Trust Amendment Form
One of the many reasons why a revocable trust is popular is because of its flexibility. In order to amend a living trust, you need to fill up a revocable living trust amendment form. In this article, we will explain how to amend a living trust and what important steps you need to go through.
What is a Living Trust?
Similar to a will, a living trust contains specifications on what you want to happen to your estate when you pass away. However, unlike a will, a living trust doesn't go through probate and prevents the court from managing your assets if you become incapacitated. There are two types of living trusts: revocable vs irrevocable. Here are explanations of each:
- Revocable trust – A revocable trust can be amended at any time by adding or removing beneficiaries or changing the provisions of how the assets will be distributed. A revocable trust becomes irrevocable when the creator passes away.
- Irrevocable trust – An irrevocable trust cannot be amended or revoked once the agreement is signed. Despite its rigidity, irrevocable trusts can be helpful in tax benefits. Except for exceedingly isolated circumstances, changes to an irrevocable trust can be time-consuming and extremely expensive.
Why Amend a Living Trust?
Revocable living trusts can be altered at any time. One of the many reasons for reviewing and amending a living trust is when a significant milestone in life has happened. Some of these major changes may include the following:
- Divorce or separations
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Beneficiary’s death
- New property acquired that will be added to the trust
- Relocation to another state where trust laws are different
- Changes in:
- Beneficiary’s details
- Trustee or successor trustee
- Distribution of property
- Properties in the trust
- Grantor’s name
How to Amend a Living Trust?
Amending a living trust can be accomplished by filling up an amendment form. Here are the steps to amend a living trust:
- Download and fill out a living trust amendment form. There are several forms available online so make sure to use the right one for you.
- Be specific in your request so that the successor trustee can fully understand the changes. Identify what will be added or removed.
- Be clear in your instructions to the successor trustee on what your intentions in the amendments are.
- Sign the document with a notary. If it’s a joint living trust, it will require both signatures. There will be a notarization fee for each signature. Include a copy of the original trust document in the amendment form.
- Unless you have placed the safety deposit boxes in the trust, do not store your amendment form and original trust document there. The probate court might seal the safe-deposit boxes during probate if not included in the trust. Store your trust documents in a safe place that your successor trustee will know how to access when the time comes.
- If there are substantial changes, you may also consider a restatement of the trust. It recreates the trust so you can keep the original trust. It will re-write the trust as a new document with the appropriate changes, preventing confusion with an amendment.
- Take note that with a revocable trust, you may also revoke a trust at any time.
To Notarize or Not
One of the many errors that grantors make is forgetting or choosing not to have the amendments notarized. It is a crucial step in the amendment process and should not be skipped. Here are what you may expect to happen to help you decide whether to notarize or not:
|Notarization renders the file “official” and ready to be used.||Not notarizing may cause some problems to your beneficiaries later on.|
|It makes the document legally binding and recognizable by the court.||An unnotarized trust may not support your claim in case the trust will be contested.|
|A beneficiary can easily forge your signature and change the terms of the trust after your death.|
Get Your Living Trust from DoNotPay
Having a properly written living trust will help manage your estate. Hiring a legal expert is one way to ensure the accuracy of language in your trust. However, be prepared to pay the high costs of hiring an attorney which can range from $1,000 to $8,000. A more cost-efficient — but equally reliable — alternative is DoNotPay. Our robot lawyer can help you set up a living trust minus the high costs and hassle. Here’s how:
- Log-in to and go to the living trust product
- Enter the name and address of your beneficiaries and trustees
- Distribute your assets and properties as desired
- Tell us which state you are getting the document notarized in
That's it! Press “Solved” and your document will be ready to review and sign before a notary public.
We can help you set up trusts in:
|Washington State||New Jersey||Louisiana|
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