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Even after you sign the trust agreement

Who Has the Authority to Modify Your Trust Document?

Who may change the provisions of a living trust contract depends on whether you formed an individual or shared living trust.

Personal living trust. You may change the trust document in an individual living trust at any time.

Living trust that is shared. If you created a trust with your spouse or partner, you must both agree to update any provision of the trust instrument while both of you are alive, such as changing a beneficiary, a successor trustee, or the property management set up for a young beneficiary. When one of the grantors dies, the shared living trust is divided into two trusts, one of which cannot be changed. (This is detailed in the section After a Grantor Dies.)

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Adding or Removing a Property

If you acquire valuable property after establishing your living trust, you should swiftly add it to the trust. You could also wish to get rid of certain things.

There are four stages involved:

Step 1: Update your property schedule (Schedule A) by adding new items or removing existing ones. You may update your property schedule by retyping it using a word processor or typewriter. Check to ensure that it includes every single piece of property that you intend to include in your trust.

Step 2: Sign the new property schedule and replace the old one on the original trust instrument you signed.

Step 3: If you added any property, transfer title to yourself as trustee. You must update the property’s title document or, if the item lacks a title document, use the Assignment of Property form to demonstrate that you are holding the item in trust. If you withdrew an item, transfer it out of the trust by revising its title document (for example, a deed) or by utilizing an Assignment of Property that transfers it from you as trustee to you as person.

Step 4: Create an updated trust agreement if you need to identify a beneficiary for new property (as discussed below). If you left all of your trust property to one person or want the new property to go to the residuary beneficiary, you won’t need to change your trust agreement.

EXAMPLE: Rose and her husband Michael established a trust many years ago. They are now purchasing a home under the name “Rose Morris and Michael Morris, Trustees of the Rose Morris and Michael Morris Revocable Living Trust dated January 13, 20xx.” They next modify their trust document’s Schedule A (which specifies co-owned property), print it out, sign it, and replace the previous Schedule A.

They do not need to change their trust agreement since it leaves all of their possessions to each other.

Changing Trust Document Provisions — Restatement

If you wish to make changes to your signed trust agreement, you must construct a “amended and restated” version of it. When you return to the software after signing your original trust document, you will complete the trust interview again, make your revisions, and then print off the full trust document. The new trust agreement will be designated as an updated and restated version of the original instrument. It will also say that any property you currently have in trust does not need to be transferred again; it will remain in trust. (If you formed a new trust and signed it on a later date, you’d have to transfer all trust property from the old trust to the new one.)

If one of the grantors dies, the trust is divided.

You cannot use the application to make modifications to the trust agreement once one of the grantors has died. If you are the surviving grantor and wish to modify the terms of your existing survivor’s trust, you have two options: have a lawyer draft an amendment or create a new, individual trust.

Amendments. What you can modify when one grantor dies is limited. Of course, you cannot amend any of the dead grantor’s instructions on who gets trust property. However, if you consult a lawyer for specific changes, you can:

Designate a new successor trustee or alter beneficiaries to inherit your trust property; name a different individual to make incapacity decisions; or modify property management for young beneficiaries.

Revocation. Some survivors want to withdraw the old trust and create a new one in their own name solely, so that when they die, everyone knows who owns everything. To do this, you must ensure that property is transferred from the old trust to the new – a little of paperwork that you may find worthwhile.

Amended and Restated Trust Document Example (first page)
Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust for Richard Jenkins and Patricia Jenkins Revocable Living Trust

The grantors of the Richard Jenkins and Patricia Jenkins Revocable Living Trust established under the Declaration of Trust dated May 20, 20xx are Richard Jenkins and Patricia Jenkins (the “Declaration of Trust”). Richard Jenkins and Patricia Jenkins are also trustees appointed and acting in accordance with the conditions of the Declaration of Trust. The grantors hereby revise and restate the Declaration of Trust as set forth in this document within the authority granted to them by Part 5 of the Declaration of Trust.

The trustees hereby agree to the provisions of this modified and restated Declaration of Trust. The parties agree that upon execution of this document, the Declaration of Trust will be completely replaced, and the contents of this updated and restated Declaration of Trust will take precedence over the terms of that Declaration of Trust for all purposes.

The grantors and trustees affirm that any assets now titled in the name of the trustees of the Richard Jenkins and Patricia Jenkins Revocable Living Trust will remain in the trustees’ possession as assets of the modified and restated trust.

Part 1: The Trust Name

The Richard Jenkins and Patricia Jenkins Revocable Living Trust is the name of this revocable living trust.

Part 2: Trust Declaration

The grantors, Richard Jenkins and Patricia Jenkins, declare that they have transferred and delivered to the trustees all of their interest in the property listed in Schedules A, B, and C to this Declaration of Trust. The “trust property” refers to all of that property. The trustees hereby acknowledge receipt of the trust property and agree to keep it in trust in accordance with the terms of this Declaration of Trust.

Either grantor has the authority to add property to the trust.

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