Coronavirus may give you reasons to amend your living trust document. This is especially true if you have been putting off making your desired changes up until this point. With the continued spread of COVID-19, the future seems uncertain.
Any changes to your estate, plans for the future, wishes or other circumstances not already accounted for will go unattended if things take a turn for the worst. For this reason, adjusting your living trust now may help you and your family prepare for the unexpected in the future. A Los Angeles trust litigation attorney at our firm can help guide you through this process.
When Is it Appropriate to Amend Your Living Trust Document?
Amending your estate planning documents should happen when big life changes occur. These changes can be circumstantial, like changes in your wishes or long-term financial plan. Amendments can also take into account additions or losses to your family. Other situations may include:
- You want to change beneficiaries or add a charity
- You have a new child or grandchild
- You were recently widowed, divorced or remarried
- You want to resign as Trustee and allow your successor to take over
- You want to add a “no contest” clause to protect a provision
How Do I Amend My Living Trust to Address These Changes?
How you will amend your document depends on the type of living trust you have. Revocable living trusts are different from irrevocable living trusts. However, in each case, an amendment is only legitimate if it is both signed and affixed to the original trust. Signatures must also receive notarization before an amendment is complete.
- Amending a revocable living trust.
A revocable living trust is the easiest to amend because it is revocable. This means that there is no language contained within the document which makes its provisions permanent. If this is the type of document you have, there are two ways to amend the terms. First, you can follow the procedures for amending the document as described in the trust agreement. If none exist, the settlor must sign off on an amendment and deliver it to the trustee. You should seek out the help of a trust litigation attorney when pursuing either of these options. Imprecise language or minor discrepancies may render your amendment null and void.
- Amending an irrevocable living trust amendment.
This type of trust document is difficult to amend by design. The only way to accomplish this is by getting the approval of every trust beneficiary named. Once in agreement about the amendment(s) desired, the beneficiaries can submit a petition to the court for approval. To amend your living trust document in this scenario is difficult. This is especially true if the trust names many beneficiaries or if beneficiaries are not in agreement about the proposed amendment. An estate planning attorney is crucial for helping beneficiaries negotiate and accomplish their tasks.
Worried About Your Estate in Light of COVID-19? Contact a Los Angeles Trust Litigation Attorney to Learn More
It is always a good idea to keep your estate planning documents up to date. Any big changes to your finances, plans or beneficiary relationships should prompt a revision of your living trust. This is true regardless of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, the spread of COVID-19 throws many plans for the future into uncertainty.
It is a good idea to prepare for the worst-case scenario at this time by amending your living trust document to reflect your wishes. To discuss your estate planning options, contact our Los Angeles trust litigation attorney. You can schedule a consultation with us at (626) 345-7210 or via an online message.