Trusts are a vital part of estate planning for many people in Ohio who want to manage their estate for the maximum tax benefit and flexibility in preparing to pass on their assets to their heirs. However, after a trust has been made and property retitled in the name of the trust, the person who created it may want to make some changes to its operations, beneficiaries or trustees. They may wonder how it is possible to change an existing trust in order to reflect changing life circumstances.
Most people who create trusts during the estate planning process create amendable, revocable trusts that can be altered or even cancelled at any time. While some trusts are an exception, an estate planning attorney may provide advice on how to handle those cases. When people do decide to make changes to the trust, it is best to do so formally by making an amendment to the trust rather than writing the changes oneself on the trust document.
When preparing an amendment, the document should refer back to the right to amend the trust, go over the changes that should be made and reaffirm that the remainder of the trust is valid and in effect. If a number of amendments have been executed over the years, a new amendment could be added that includes a full restatement. This will completely redefine the trust without requiring the retitling of property that would be necessary in the creation of a new trust.
When people are considering their plans for their estate, including the execution of wills, trusts and other key documents, working with an estate planning attorney may be helpful. A lawyer may provide guidance about how to handle the financial and legal aspects of planning one's estate in order to avoid probate and provide the maximum benefit to one's heirs.