Talk to an estate planning attorney today to understand if a revocable living trust is right for you.
A Revocable Living Trust in Arizona offer many benefits, one of the is the ability to amend or revoke it when you are alive. Ready our blog article to understand a little bit more about revocable living trusts in Arizona.
We are a law firm that handles estate plan and probate cases. We create revocable living trusts for clients on a daily basis in Arizona.
Our experienced estate planning attorneys we also do trust revisions on a daily basis. It is very common for us to review trusts from other law firms, either from Arizona or from other states.
A lot of times when we do such revisions a trust amendment or a trust reinstatement may be necessary. That happens because circumstances change and the trust provisions may no longer be applicable.
Sometimes a revocation and reinstatement of the original trust may also be necessary because the original trust doesn't comply with Arizona law. The original trust is not legally valid in Arizona.
Read our blog article to understand better how trust restatement works and how that can affect your trust and you as a trustee and grantor of the trust.
Reasons for Changes
A lot of times people need to change a successor trustee, add a different trustee (as they get older and their health is failing) or add beneficiaries or change beneficiaries.
Sometimes as part of your estate plan you may want to change your revocable living trust to an irrevocable trust to allow you to apply for government benefits in the future.
You might want to amend your revocable living trust in some way. You should make changes or add a beneficiary when you lose or have a new child, or when your spouse passes away, or when a divorce happens.
If you decide that your beneficiaries must have reached certain ages before they can inherit assets, you might want to change the distribution method if they are at that age but you don't consider them responsible enough.
You can change your trustees' powers, add a different successor trustee, or become successor trustees, or choose to change their powers in your trust documents in Arizona.
Whatever the reason an attorney should be able to guide you correctly.
Only a license attorney with the Arizona state bar should be able to give you proper legal advice in how to comply with the law.
Removing and adding property to a trust will not require a trust amendment or a trust restatement. Even when a trust amendment or restatement happens, but the name of the trust document stays the same, all the property will not necessarily needed to added to your trust again.
Reasons You Might Want to Change Your Living Trust
Common reasons of changing trusts are the need of:
- A spouse dies and the surviving spouse would like to make changes;
- Age related changes, like adding a co trustee or a successor trustee, in case you can't manage the trust anymore;
- A family member (like a child) passes away and you want to remove them as beneficiary;
- You have a new addition to the family, like a new child, and you want to add the new loved one as a beneficiary;
- You change states. Trust laws are state specific, we usually recommend to review your estate plan with an Arizona estate planning attorney if you move to our state;
- You want a new trust to serve a different purpose;
- You want a revocable living trust to became irrevocable;
The list of reasons why you want to do a living trust amendment can vary. To summarize if the trust is not serving its purpose anymore you can even revoke the trust and decide to use a different estate planning strategy.
Maintaining a trust is not time consuming but as people age their original trust agreement may no longer be the best option for them. An trust lawyer should be able to help you with a new legal document that serves its purpose.
What is a Trust Amendment?
A trust amendment is an act that amends one or more aspects of a trust. The objective of an amendment to your living trusts will include the ability to change the beneficiaries and trustees provisions.
At our estate planning law firm we prefer to revoke and reinstate trusts to avoid confusion, instead of doing amendments. Too many trust amendments can create possibly confusing revisions, which can result in litigation and other type of expensive legal issues.
When to Amend Your Living Trust, and When to Revoke It
There is not right or wrong answer here, every estate planning attorney likes to do it their own way. That is why it is so important to work with an attorney in Arizona.
A trust amendment is not our preferred method to do changes to your trust. Too many amendments can cause confusion, which in turn can cause you heirs to have to do probate or even to have to higher an estate litigator later.
Significant changes and numerous changes done as an amendment to your living trust during your life are not recommended.
At our law firm we prefer to revoke and reinstate our clients trust, even if the entire trust was originally done by us.
There are specific ways to do the process though. To avoid to have to fund the trust again we usually keep the name of the trust and the date the same. By doing so we avoiding to have to remove property from one trust and add property to another trust.
Although your trust document will be different the trust property will still be assets held in trust. The original date is usually part of the name of the new trust as well, the name of the trust stays the same. You previous existing trust should also be saved together with your new trust document for future reference.
Trusts are subject to state law also, different laws will require different changes to your trust. Instead of amending to adjust to the new law of your new state, if you moved to a new one, it is just cleaner and safer to create a new one.
You Don't Have to Amend a Trust to Add Property
Questions involving property are very common. A trust is a legal instrument (a trust document) designed to handle the payment or acquisition of additional assets that you may wish to held in trust in the future.
A living trust has a purpose: keep your assets in your into the living trust to avoid probate when your spouse dies or to keep wealth in your family. When the second spouse also passes away we will go into trust administration.
If done correctly a trust amendment should not require you to re-fund your trust. Creating or amending a trust is not enough though, you need to make sure all your trust funding has been done correctly.
If you need to understand more about trust finding in Arizona (and the importance of funding your living trust correctly) read our blog about the subject, click here to read.
Talk to an Family Trust attorney in Chandler, AZ today
Do you have an old living trust that needs revision? Did you recently moved to Arizona and you need a trust review? Do you think you need a trust restatement?
The trust attorneys at Citadel Law Firm will be pleased to help. Call today to schedule your free consultation, call (480) 565-8020 or click here to schedule.