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  • Can Changes Be Made to a Living Trust?

    An estate plan is active and reflects your situation and priorities. You may need to make changes to your estate plan when your life circumstances or values change. It is possible to make changes to a living trust. However, you should not attempt to do anything on your own. Always consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to get effective legal help.

    Revocable Trusts May Be Changed

    There are two types of trusts:

    • An irrevocable trust cannot be changed. In exchange, you may realize certain benefits from it, such as moving assets out of your name for Medicaid purposes and other asset protection. Here, you have severed all indicators of ownership.
    • A revocable trust, which helps transfer assets without probate, can be changed as life circumstances require.

    A revocable trust is another way of using the term “living trust.” Its name comes from the fact that it is a living document that can be changed as necessary. Your needs and life situation may not stay the same after you have established a living trust. Attorneys will always tell you to review your estate plan occasionally to ensure it meets your needs and make changes as necessary.

    When Should You Make Changes to a Living Trust?

    There are certain times when you would have to amend a living trust. Some life changes can also mean you must amend your estate plan to reflect them. For example, you may want to consider amending a living trust when the following occurs:

    • You get married.
    • You get divorced.
    • One of your beneficiaries passes away.
    • A beneficiary gets divorced.
    • You have a change in relationship with one of your beneficiaries.
    • You obtain a substantial amount of new property.

    You do not even need a concrete reason to change your living trust. Your thoughts and priorities may have shifted over time, and you want this change to manifest in your living trust.

    A living trust is a binding contractual document. Unless you make changes to it, what you have on paper will control the future. You would physically need to remove a beneficiary or change any of your priorities. Remember that a living trust is much more than a will. It reflects your priorities for your property and your family. If you have a living trust, not everything is set in stone at one point. Of course, if you have an irrevocable trust, changing the document becomes much more difficult (or virtually impossible).

    Consult With a Lawyer to Change Your Living Trust

    Knowing that you can amend your living trust, the questions are both about whether you should do so and how you should do so. Always contact an experienced estate planning attorney for any relevant questions. What you do now is binding and will impact your loved ones. An estate planning attorney will ensure that all legal documents are correct and effective for you when needed. If you make a mistake in your living trust, it can cause difficulty for your family in the future. You would not have the protection the probate court provides, so there is a higher chance of litigation.

    Contact Our Virginia Beach Estate Lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC for Help Changing Your Trust

    If you have any questions about living trusts or want to make changes, contact our Virginia Beach estate lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC. We can review your situation and help determine whether any changes are necessary. We can also help you change the legal documents to reflect your current choices. You can schedule an appointment by calling us today at 757-LAW-0000 or contacting us online. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, and Eastern Shore, Virginia.