When you execute a revocable living trust, the terms of your trust are spelled out in the trust document. However, sometimes you want to replace those terms entirely. You do this by “restating” your trust. It's still the same trust, but with all new terms, spelled out in a new document, executed with the same formalities as the original trust.
What's the difference between a restatement and an amendment?
An amendment is a supplement to the existing trust document, and only changes certain provisions, leaving the rest of the original trust terms intact. If you have an estate plan folder or binder, the amendment will go in the front of the trust, to show the most recent changes.
A restatement, on the other hand, replaces the original trust document entirely. You no longer need it at all and can replace it in your EP folder (although we recommend keeping it somewhere for your records).
When should I have my trust restated?
Restating your trust is a good idea in the following situations:
- When the edits are extensive – If you have numerous revisions to make, it is often more efficient and cost effective to simply re-do the entire document.
- When the law has changed – Sometimes the relevant law changes. Depending on the change, it might render your current trust ineffective at carrying out your wishes, or it might mean you would now benefit from a simpler type of trust.
- When your trust is very old – With a very old trust, rather than taking the time to review it to see if it still reflects your wishes, or how it stacks up against current law, it's probably better to start from scratch.
When in doubt, ask the drafting attorney which is the best option for your circumstances.
Do I have to re-title my assets?
No. It's still the same trust, just with different terms. The name and title remain the same. Although, if you're updating your estate plan, it's a good time to confirm that all your assets are properly titled. If they are not, you can get that taken care of at the same time.
Restating your trust is often the simpler and more efficient way to make changes to your estate plan. If you decide to only do an amendment, make sure you keep the amendment with the original trust. It is a separate document, so if it's not kept with the trust, chances are no one will know it exists.
Helix Law Firm can help you restate your trust
We can review your existing estate plan documents and determine if you need a restatement or if an amendment will suffice. We will implement your changes and make sure your trust terms are up to date.
If you do not have an estate plan, we can discuss your assets and your goals, and come up with a plan that suits your needs. Our estate plan package includes a revocable living trust, pourover will, durable power of attorney, and healthcare directive (along with miscellaneous supporting documents). We will perform a deed search for all of your real estate and make sure it is property titled.
If you're interested in learning more about estate planning, please call us at (619) 567-4447 to schedule a free consultation.
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