When creating the terms of a trust, we usually consider present circumstances and existing assets. For instance, we include beneficiaries thinking they would still be in our lives by the time of the trust’s execution. But unforeseeable events can force you to change the details of your trust, such as a beneficiary’s death or the acquisition of new valuable property.
If any of these happen, can you still change your trust?
Checking the type of trust
Unfortunately, not all types of living trust can be subject to changes. You have to check whether your existing trust is revocable or irrevocable. If it is irrevocable, you can no longer make any changes to the trust. Revocable trusts, on the other hand, can still be subject to modification. You can change the terms, add or remove properties and appoint a new trustee and beneficiaries.
Let us say your living trust is revocable. How exactly do you change it? Florida allows the trustor to execute an amendment document that includes all the changes. You can then include the document in the original trust declaration. The trustor must sign the amendment in the presence of two witnesses or a notary public. The grantor must send a copy of the amendment to the trustee to inform them of the changes.
The trustor can also choose to revoke the original trust and create a new one which includes the changes. However, this can cost the grantor more time, effort and money.
Do I need my attorney to modify the trust?
The law does not require you to have an attorney to modify your trust. However, like any estate planning tool, trusts can be confusing. So, it may be helpful to consult a legal professional to ensure you properly execute the modification.