Klenk Law

Amending a Revocable Trust

Posted on Mon Dec 12, 2016, on Revocable Trusts and Living Trusts

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Revocable Trust Amendment

Most Recently Updated August 9, 2018.

“How can I amend my revocable trust?”

Revocable Trust Amendment

Revocable Trusts formed during your lifetime are typically designed to be easily “revoked” or modified.  Because a Revocable Trust is meant to replace your Will, it should take into consideration the fact that life brings change. Over time you may wish to alter your preferences.

I would need to see your Revocable Trust to point out the clause, but there should be a paragraph that states the trust is revocable in full and that you are free to make amendments.

See my website for more in-depth information about Revocable Living Trusts.

Amending A Revocable Trust Carefully.

Granted that it might be easy to change your trust, but do so carefully.  Modifying the trust is like changing your Will.  If you make a mistake or are unclear, you could unintentionally void a gift, create litigation or create a taxable event.  Further, you must use the correct language to show that your Amendment does not completely void the remainder of the Trust.  I have seen people try to amend a Revocable Trust by adding a gift, but they instead modified the trust so that only the single gift existed.  As a result, all the rest of the assets then passed under the rules of intestacy.  A terrible result! 

Handle a Revocable Trust modification with the same consideration as a change to your Will.

If Equality is Your Wish, Be Careful About Taxes.

Revocable Living Trusts do not help you avoid taxes, so any change made to your trust might create an unforeseen taxable event. Your death may trigger many different types of taxes.  Take into consideration all Income Taxes, Capital Gains Taxes, Inheritance Taxes, Estate Taxes, and others that affect your estate.  If you fail to consider all taxes, you may unwittingly create an uneven division of your assets.  For example, if you live in a state with an Inheritance or Estate Tax and give a particular gift to one child and the residue to another, the child receiving the residue might be burdened with the tax due on both gifts.  Care must be taken to maintain your wishes.

Consider Your Incapacity (Not Just Your Death).

In modifying your Living Trust, be careful that you don’t damage the portion that addresses how you are cared for during your lifetime.  Most Revocable Trusts focus only on what happens after you die.  Instead, think what would happen if you had a stroke, suffered from Alzheimer’s or some other disease.  If so, you no longer could manage the Revocable Trust.  Who would step in? Indeed, plan for your potential incapacity!  If your Revocable Trust only names a successor trustee, that trustee cannot take over without proof of your incapacity.  As a consequence, what could have been a smooth transition could evolve into an expensive court hearing.  Instead, consider other alternatives such as naming a current co-trustee.  Other options exist, depending on your specific situation.

More Planning Questions?

The Revocable Trust Amendment is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Revocable Trust Amendment

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining Revocable Trust Amendment. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!

 

Tags:

Estate Planning, Estate Planning Attorney, Estate Planning Lawyer, Living Trust, Peter Klenk, Revocable Trust, Trusts

What Our clients are saying

Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Stars

Peter was excellent. He explained everything very clearly and is super friendly. My wife and I originally tried using a lawyer through group legal coverage, but unfortunately the old adage - "you get what you pay for" - applied to the other lawyer, and we decided to go with a real professional.

Stars

When it came down to picking the right attorney to handle my affairs, I knew right away it was this firm. From speaking to their secretary to speaking to Peter I knew I was making the right decision. After only a few mins Peter knew right away what I was looking for and handled all my questions professionally and even gave me great feedback that put my mind at ease. All that without even giving a single penny! So of course I hired him! So far so good...

Stars

AWESOME LAWYER! Peter Klenk is an exceptional attorney and a very nice person! Today I spoke with Peter about estate planning and was impressed with by his professionalism, cordiality, and attention to detail. I highly recommend Klenk Law for probates, wills, trusts, and other issues germane to estate planning!

Stars

Great friendly staff

Stars

Tremendous firm with bright, kind and tenacious people. Great representation for our family.

Stars

I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.

Stars

Everything about my experience was a 10+! Peter and his staff made what I thought would be a difficult process easy and understandable. Every detail was handled correctly. No other firm could possibly do better than Klenk Law!

Stars

Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

Stars

Like another reviewer, I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link, for a question regarding PA inheritance taxes. The question was quite technical and difficult to explain, and the answer was nowhere to be found on the web. Peter grasped precisely what I was asking, and provided a clear, helpful response (with a touch of humor) the very next day.

Stars

Answered my question quickly and referred me to a colleague that could handle my problem

Stars

Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.

Stars

Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.

Stars

Peter recently gave a presentation about Wills & Trusts at my employer, and it was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and provided valuable information to the group. People were very engaged and asked several questions, all of which Peter thoroughly answered. Personally, my husband and I have selected Peter to help us with our estate planning, and he has been very helpful in providing us with all of the information we need to provide a secure future for our family. Thank you, Peter!

Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Stars

Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!

Stars

You & your staff are the best thank you for everything.

Stars

Peter and his staff handled all of our needs in a very professional and timely matter.

Stars

Peter Klenk made a complex subject understandable and allowed us to move forward with our estate planning. He was patient with our questions and creative in the solutions he proposed.

Stars

Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.

Stars

Fantastic customer service. Very personable and most importantly they provide great explanations of what is required based on your individual needs. Highly recommend Klenk Law for anyone that needs to create a will and estate documents.

Stars

Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.

Stars

Surprisingly easy

Stars

Affable...yet surprisingly cerebral estate planning atty. High marks all the way around.

Stars

Peter and his associates made things easy for us.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.