I have a trust but would like to make some changes, can this be done? 46 Answers as of November 09, 2012

I have a trust that I would like to make some changes to. I am the trustee presently. I mainly want to change the person handling the trust upon my death and some other minor changes. I am not sure if this is a revocable or irrevocable trust. I also want to seek a different attorney other than the original attorney who drafted the trust.

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Richard M. Gee, a PC
Richard M. Gee, a PC | Richard M. Gee
Generally, if this is a trust that you set up, you can make changes up to your date of death. If it is an irrevocable trust, you would not be the trustee, so I assume it is a revocable trust. The only exception is if you have a spouse and that spouse dies. From that point on, the testamentary provisions dealing with the distribution of her part of the estate could not be changed.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 11/9/2012
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
I think you've answered your own question: You need to see an attorney to be advised if you can make changes (revocable) or not (irrevocable). You are never tied to an attorney, and if you paid for the trust, it belongs to you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/6/2012
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
You first need to determine if it is a revocable trust. If the trust is irrevocable, there should be a section in the trust that states it irrevocable. If that is the case no changes can be made to the trust. If the trust's beneficiary is under the age of majority, it may likely be an irrevocable trust. Read the instrument to determine its revocability. To find an attorney check out FLBar.org to find an estate planning attorney in your area.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/6/2012
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
You should determine whether or not this trust is irrevocable or not. If it is revocable and you are the sole trustor, you may make changes to the trust. You may retain the services of a new counsel to draft the amendments to the trust.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/5/2012
Law Offices of Robert H. Glorch | Jeffrey R. Gottlieb
If it is a revocable trust, then you can certainly do this. If it's irrevocable, then it is more complicated.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 11/5/2012
    Blough Law Office | Janis L. Blough
    If the trust allows amendment?(they usually do), any experienced attorney who handles trusts can draft the amendments you desire; you do not need to return to the attorney who drafted the original trust.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    It's actually up to the trust agreement that you signed to begin with. But you can always take the trust to a new attorney to ask about changes to be made.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    The trust language should state if out is revocable or not. Ask your attorney if you are unsure.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    As long as it is a revocable trust you can make changes. If you are the original trust maker is usually is but there is no guarantee. You can go to any tax planning or estate planning attorney to thoroughly investigate. There is no need to go to your original attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Law Offices of Frank D. Granato
    Law Offices of Frank D. Granato | Frank Granato
    A revocable trust can be changed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Thompson Ostler & Olsen dba Franchise Business Law Group | Brooke Ashton
    These changes are probably possible depending on the language of the trust. The amount of difficulty to change the trust will be based on the following factors: whether it is irrevocable or revocable; whether the trust gives language for amendment or powers of appointment; and if there are any other trustees, other than yourself. Another attorney can help you with this matter. You do not have to go to the attorney that drafted the original trust.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Dwight Edward Tompkins, Attorney at Law
    Dwight Edward Tompkins, Attorney at Law | Dwight Edward Tompkins
    I give new clients a free 30 minute initial consultation. If you bring me the document, I should be able to determine whether the trust is revocable or irrevocable. If it is revocable, and you are the person with that power, then you can make any changes to the trust that you want to, including amendment of the successor trustees.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
    First of all, you are free to contact any lawyer you like to discuss your trust and other affairs. You have no obligation to use the lawyer who drafted your trust, and I would encourage you to look for someone in whom you have a great deal of confidence. If you created the trust, and named yourself as trustee, I'd be surprised if the trust could not be modified. Your new trust lawyer will be able to definitely comment on that once he or she has reviewed the trust document. I am sure there are a number of trust lawyers in your area, as well as a number here on LawQA, who would be happy to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Law Offices of Hal Wright
    Law Offices of Hal Wright | Hal Wright
    The document itself should state whether it is revocable or not. Also, generally only the trustor (settlor) of the trust is allwoed to make changes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Olson Law Firm | Edward M Olson
    Assuming that this is a trust you created, the answer is "yes" you can make changes. If it was originally a joint trust or a trust created by someone else, there may be things you can do, but you will be limited by any restrictions contained in the trust.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    We need to know if it is a revocable trust. A revocable trust permits revisions, an irrevocable trust does not.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    Whether a trust can be modified depends on if it is a revocable or irrevocable trust. Only the Grantor can change a trust document if it is revocable. It makes good sense to have a trust reviewed every two to three years to keep it up to date. You will need to find a lawyer who will give you a 30 minute free consultation. Barry Your financial plan is not complete until it is co-ordinated with your estate plan. Will your family be provided for when you are gone? Without a Will, the court will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    An Oklahoma trust is presumed to be revocable. You would, therefore, retain the right to amend the trust unless the trust document provides otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Carmen B. Marquez, PC | Carmen B. Marquez
    As long as it's revocable and the trust language allows you to amend it and/or restate it can easily be done. The new attorney will most likely want to restate the entire trust just keep the original name.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If the trust is revocable, it can be amended. If it is irrevocable, it is unlikely that an amendment can be made, but you would need to refer to the trust to determine of there is a provision to allow amendment and what amendments can be allowed. Most trusts for individuals to avoid probate are revocable.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center | Shadi Alai-Shaffer
    You can work with any attorney to make the changes you want. Most likely your trust is a revocable trust but it is easy to find out what type of trust you have. What your needing is an Amendment. It's a fairly simple change so you shouldn't have any problems or major expenses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    You can if it is a revocable trust. The first few pages of the trust should state rather it is a revocable trust - changes can be made by the grantor.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Bruce Steiner Attorney at Law | Bruce Steiner
    If you created it and it's revocable, you can change it. If you created it and it's irrevocable, you can change it with the consent of the beneficiaries. The trust should say whether it's revocable or irrevocable.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    TrustCounsel | Gregory Herman-Giddens
    A grantor of a revocable trust can amend it any time (if he or she has the requisite mental capacity). An irrevocable trust may often be modified under state law by the court or consent of the grantor and all beneficiaries.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    You need to read through the trust to determine whether it is revocable or irrevocable. The vast majority of trusts are revocable. If you are still unsure, please see an attorney. If you want to make a change to your revocable trust, this is a trust amendment. You can go to a different attorney for the amendment or to find out if the trust is revocable so an amendment can be made.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Richard E. Damon, PC | Richard E. Damon
    Yes, if it is a revocable living trust.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Yes you can amend your trust as to any provision or revoke the whole thing; however amendment is pretty simple and straight forward. Yes you can change attorney at anytime you desire; you do not have to go back to the last attorney that prepared the trust or trust amendments. Choose an individual that prepares estate plans which includes trusts; and interview attorneys until you find one you are comfortable with. You will need to take your original document binder to the new attorney; if the last lawyer has your original documents, you need to request and obtain those documents before you interview your new counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
    You probably have a revocable trust... otherwise, there are very few things you could change. An amendment to the trust is the appropriate method of changing some of the trust terms. It is also possible that it might be in your best interest to restate the trust in total to make a number of changes to the trust depending on the quality of the trust that you had signed and hold old the trust is... there have been many law changes, tax changes, and interpretations of language over the years. All that must be taken into consideration in dealing with the trust.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    DOUGLAS A. TULL, P.C.
    DOUGLAS A. TULL, P.C. | Douglas A. Tull
    The chances are, if you are the Trustee, that it is a Revocable Trust. An irrevocable Trust would most likely have required a different Trustee - among other things. If it is a Revocable Trust, it should, by its terms, allow you to amend it "in whole, or in part, or to revoke it" - or words to that affect. Depending on how old the trust is and how well it was drafted in the first instance, if you see another attorney about the Trust, he or she might recommend a "restatement" or "amendment" of the entire trust. The law has changed quite a bit over the last 15 years.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, most likely yes. It will help to read any section(s) of the trust that governs amending the trust. Usually one can create an amendment to the trust, and follow the same formalities to add to or remove something from it.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    You can change attorneys, without any problem. Whether or not you can amend the terms of the trust depends on the terms of your trust. It would be relatively unusual for the trust to be irrevocable, but it is possible. Someone would need to review the terms of your trust to tell you. I would be willing to review your trust at no charge. If it can be amended, the changes you are talking about could easily be made. Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions or if you would like to schedule a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    You need to schedule a consultation with an attorney who will review your trust in advance and advise you on your ability to change/amend all or part of the trust.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC | Darin Christensen
    It can easily be done if it is a revocable trust. If it is an irrevocable trust, it will require the written consent of the present beneficiary (I assume you), the trustee (you), and the remainder beneficiaries.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston | Edwin Fee
    If the trust is revocable, you may change it. If it is irrevocable, you may not. Given that you are the trustee, it probably is revocable.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    The trust itself should indicate whether it can be amended and by whom. An amendment does not need to be made by the same attorney who drafted the document, but if you go to a new attorney, that person will need to review your existing documents in order to advise you about what you can do.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    If your trust is revocable, it definitely can be done. If it is not, then probably most or all of the things you want to do can be done. (Probably your trust is revocable.)
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    Unless the trust is irrevocable then the changes that you contemplate are certainly doable. You should consult an estate planning attorney to review the document, confirm that it is or is not revocable and advise you how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    SmartWills
    SmartWills | Scott Pesetsky
    If you are the person who set up the trust, and your trust is revocable, you can make changes easily. Most are! If your trust is irrevocable, changes are still possible, but will require court review. We can review your trust document and let you know which situation you are in. We offer offer webcam meetings for our cross-state clients.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    The trust needs to be reviewed by an attorney to evaluate whether changes may be made.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    Get an attorney to review the trust and determine 1) if it can be amended and 2) how it can be amended.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Brad Micklin | Brad Micklin
    I would need to see the trust to determine whether it can be modified and what is the best way to do so.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Byers & Goulding, PLC | Andrew Byers
    If it is a revocable trust, you would be able to make any change. If it is an irrevocable trust, your ability to make changes might be limited.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    We would be happy to review the trust document to see this can be done. Generally it is just an amendment to the trust to make a change like this with is quick and inexpensive
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Francine R. Martin P.A.
    Francine R. Martin P.A. | Francine R. Martin
    Hello, You would need to contact a Florida Estate Planning attorney to review your trust and advise you as to whether or not you can make changes. Most trusts are revocable and allow for changes.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Bagla Law Firm | Kelly Bagla, Esq.
    As long as the trust is revocable and you are the trustee of the trust, you may make changes to it. Please talk to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
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