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How to amend a trust

You cannot ignore the necessity of a thorough estate plan that lets you transfer your wealth in the manner you see fit and carry out any philanthropic goals you have. To have this protection, many people create wills and trusts early in life. However, as the years go on, there may be aspects of your trust that you need to modify to better reflect current conditions. You need to follow proper legal protocol to ensure the state follows your wishes adequately after you pass.

Review these documents once every couple of years

It is good to create an estate plan after a major life event, such as having a child or marrying. After this point, you want to review your estate plan once every year or so to make sure it still follows your wishes. You need to take into account any other factors that have cropped up since the last time you reviewed it, such as whether your income has increased. 

Consider drafting an amendment

There may be small aspects of your trust that you want to alter. You need to follow a strict set of guidelines on how to do this because a judge will not consider notes you wrote in the corners of the document. For small changes, such as modifying a single trustee, create an amendment. Your attorney will attach this amendment to your trust, and you, the attorney and witnesses need to sign off on the amendment. 

Think about drafting a new trust from scratch

In extreme circumstances, you may need to ask about whether you need to completely discard a trust and create a new one. This can be risky because there is a chance that you will leave something out in this new trust. Another massive endeavor involves moving the assets found in one trust to another. No matter what you want to change, you will require assistance to ensure everything remains correct and legal. 

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  • MCBA | Maricopa County Bar Association
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • ABA | American bar Association | Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
  • Oregon State bar
  • NACBA | National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NACA | National Association of Consumer Advocates
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The Dodds Law Firm, PLC, has offices in Avondale, Scottsdale and Surprise to serve our clients' needs throughout the Valley. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, call 623-208-6098 or toll free at 877-827-9906. You can also contact us online.

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