Restating Your Trust – Your trust will likely need to be changed at some point or another, to keep up with your life changes and any legal changes that occur. When you establish a Trust, we explain to our clients that your estate plan is a living document. This means that as your life alters, your trust needs to be updated to ensure you, your beneficiaries, and assets are properly protected. Often our clients will merely need an amendment; that is, a change to only limited sections within their trust, that do not call for an entire “re-do”.
However, as the years continue, we see some clients who end up having 5 or 6 amendments, often to the same sections. Our estate planning attorneys know that when you amend your trust multiple times, especially the same sections, it can lead to confusion and even discourse for the family down the road.
Our estate planning lawyers will tell you that a trust restatement may be the better choice the next time you know that a change needs to be made. A trust restatement will completely replace the previous Articles and provisions that were in the original document and your amendment(s). We normally recommend clients restate their trusts if their original intent has changed, or if the majority of the trust needs to be updated. We also recommend a trust restatement if there are numerous amendments.
Can My Beneficiaries See Old Versions of My Trust If They Are Not Included Anymore?
Not only does restating your trust allow you to update your wishes, ensure that you are properly protected, and ensure that your trust will serve your needs even after you are gone, but it can ensure that your heirs do not see prior versions of the trust. For some of our clients, they have changed the distribution sections in their trust and they do not want a child or beneficiary to know what the previous versions stated so as not to upset them.
As your life changes, it is recommended that your trust should be reviewed every 3-5 years to ensure it still accomplishes your goals. As your trust continues to evolve, it is important to have your attorney advise if it is wise to continue amending your trust, or if it will be best to restate your trust. If you have questions on whether it is time to restate your trust, please contact our estate planning attorneys at (800) 244-8814.