How Do I Change my Trust? Here’s What Not to Do

From the Desk of San Diego Estate Attorney, Kristina Hess

Polly and Sam from Del Mar, California want to know how to change their revocable living trust.  They created a joint trust over 10 years ago and their life has changed.

They had another child, and the persons they selected as their successor trustees need to be updated (trustees are the ones who manage your trust when you no longer can).

Some people want to know if they can just write a piece of paper and attach it to their trust.  Or, can they just mark up the trust, crossing out the names and writing in new ones?

A recent case decided by a California Appellate Court has reminded us all that the most important thing to do when changing an existing trust is to follow the directions for making an amendment contained in the original trust.  In the recent case, a party had followed the California Probate Code on how to amend a trust, which differed from what the trust instrument provided.

California law gives deference to legally binding written agreements.

Follow your Trust.

Don’t make handwritten changes.

Make sure you execute a proper amendment.

Here at KR Hess Law we have a membership program in place, where for a monthly or flat annual fee, you can get unlimited changes or updates to your estate plan.  That way you can be sure that your plan is up to date, and that your amendments are all done properly.

Create Your Legacy!

Kristina Hess

San Diego Estate Lawyer

Wills, Trusts, and Businesses