As circumstances change and life throws new challenges our way, it’s important to take a look at your future plans and make sure they still match your wishes. This means examining your existing estate plan and making changes if necessary, which is especially true for your revocable living trust.
As the name suggests, a revocable living trust can be changed or dissolved at any time and for any reason. Since revocable living trusts hold property to avoid probate or to let others take control of your assets if you’re otherwise unable to handle them, you may want to amend your trust if you experience a major life change like a death or divorce or if you want to change the inheritance distribution of your beneficiaries.
Typically, if you were to make any of those changes to a Last Will and Testament, you would have to revoke the entire document and create a new one from scratch. Since a revocable trust is a living document, however, you only need to amend the trust. If you’re making major changes to the trust, then most trust attorneys would suggest making a restatement. A restatement is a re-writing of the original trust that does not require a total revocation of the original trust document, which is especially helpful since you would not have to fund the trust again. If a trust is revoked and a new trust is created, you would have to go through the process of making sure the trust is totally funded with the assets you want to protect from probate, which could cause some issues if you do not correctly fund the trust.
While restating your revocable living trust, a trust attorney will also make sure that all of the trust language meets the current standards, laws, and regulations. This is reason alone to have your trust reviewed and restated on a fairly regular basis, since you want to make sure that your trust is compliant with North Carolina laws and will provide as much protection as necessary.
If you would like to receive more information about revoking a revocable living trust, or if you’d like to have your current revocable living trust reviewed to make sure it still meets your needs, please set up an appointment at our elder law office by calling (336) 378-1122.