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Can my Trust be Updated?

If your trust is a revocable trust, as most are, you have the power to update it whenever you’d like (so long as you have the mental capacity to do so). Updates which add to, or replace, parts of an existing trust are called “amendments.” If the entire trust is updated, it’s called a “restatement.” In many cases, a restatement is more appropriate, so that the entire trust can be modernized, but for small changes an amendment can still be appropriate.

Technically, irrevocable trusts are indeed irrevocable and can’t be updated; however, trust protectors, judicial and nonjudicial modification laws, and decanting allow us to update an irrevocable trust that is no longer meeting the trust maker’s intent.

Since revocable trusts and, in some cases, irrevocable trusts, can be updated to take into account new laws, like the proposed tax changes we’ve all heard about, it’s always a “good” time to work on implementing an estate plan. Estate plans are designed to be flexible, so they can almost always be updated later to take into account future changes to the law.

The process begins with a review of your existing plan and a conversation about what changes may be necessary or that you desire.

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