People that do not have a strong understanding of the subject often assume that trusts are to be avoided, because you make permanent decisions that you could never change when you establish a trust. What if you convey assets into a trust and you need the money later on for one reason or another?
This sense of trepidation is understandable, but you do not necessarily surrender control of assets that you place into a trust. There are irrevocable trusts that cannot be dissolved or rescinded, and generally speaking, they cannot be changed, though there are exceptions.
However, there are also revocable living trusts. The situation is entirely different with this type of trust, because as you can see from the name, you do have the power of revocation. Should you ever choose to do so, you can revoke the trust and take back direct personal possession of the property.
Living Trust Amendments and Restatement
It is unlikely that you would ever want to dissolve a living trust, because you can serve as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are living, so there is really no loss of control. You would establish the trust to serve as an estate planning vehicle, and that need is not going to go away.
Since you would be the trustee and the beneficiary, you can take assets out of the trust whenever you want to without explaining anything to anyone. When it comes to conveying property into the trust after it has been established, you simply sign ownership documents over to the trust.
The trust would technically become the owner of the assets, but you would be the sole controller of the trust.
You can make relatively minor changes to the trust through the execution of Amendments. This would include things like changing the choice of successor beneficiary, or altering the amount of the bequests that would be received by a beneficiary or beneficiaries. An Amendment can be easily executed with the help of an attorney from our firm.
For more substantial changes, you would want to utilize an Amendment and Restatement. This would be appropriate if you want to completely eliminate a beneficiary, add a beneficiary, or dramatically change the nature of the distributions.
It should be noted that if you have a joint living trust with your spouse, both parties would have to agree to any changes that are made to the trust terms.
Learn More About Living Trusts
If you would like to obtain some detailed information about the value of living trusts, we have a fantastic resource that you can access through this website. Our attorneys have prepared a special report that puts the subject under the microscope. It is comprehensive, but the information is conveyed in a way that is very easy for a layperson to digest.
You can click this link to access this specific report, and we have a fully stocked library of additional reports that cover numerous different important estate planning and elder law topics. They are all free, and we invite you to take advantage any of these resources right now or at any time in the future.
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