Life is fast paced and often we need to make revisions to our living trust to reflect those changes. What is the difference between a trust amendment and a restatement? f you have a living trust, your attorney can either draft a trust amendment or a complete restatement. The following is an overview of each option.

What is a Trust Amendment?

A trust amendment is a legal document that is used to change specific provisions of a revocable living trust. Examples of changes to specific provisions of a trust include changing the successor trustee, updating the beneficiaries, or changing specific bequests of the trust property. While the amendment to the trust changes these specific provisions, the remaining provisions remain intact. The amendment makes reference to the original trust document and it is signed by the creator of the trust, also known as the settlor or the grantor. The name and date of the trust remains the same.

What Is a Trust Restatement?

In some cases, the changes to the trust that are needed or desired are so extensive that the entire trust is rewritten. This is where a trust restatement comes in. A trust restatement replaces all provisions of the original revocable living trust with new provisions that meet the current goals of the creator of the trust. This type of document is often referred to as an Amendment and Restatement and is completed with all of the same formalities as the execution of the original trust document. The name and date of the trust remains the same.

In general, minor changes to a trust can be handled simply by using an amendment. With more extensive trust provisions, or in cases where multiple trust amendments have been used in the past, it may be best to consolidate all of these changes into a complete trust restatement. Doing so will simplify things when it comes time for your successor trustee to administer your trust.

One of the beauties of a living revocable trust is that it can always be modified during your lifetime. Your estate plan will change as life changes, and for any estate plan to truly work, it must stay relevant and current to your lifestyle.