How do you change a revocable living trust?


It is not uncommon to want to change a trust after it is made. Reasons include changed circumstances, such as an illness, death, or divorce, or more simply that you have changed your mind. The good news is you can change a Living Revocable Trust. Its very name describes tells you that it is revocable. That means as long as you, the “Grantor” are alive and competent you can completely revoke or just make a few changes to the terms of the trust.


Larry: I have a revocable living trust in my name. I am the trustee and I have two alternative trustees in sequence depending on who's available at the time of my passing.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Got it.

Larry: My question is, I need to change the person for the second alternative. Can I do that with an addendum to the trust or do I have to go through someone like yourself, an attorney, to have that done?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Well, It is done through an amendment to trust. That amendment must be done with the same formalities when you signed your original trust, which means two witnesses and a notary public.

Larry: Got it.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Could you change it? The answer is, yes, there's no law that requires an attorney does it but make sure you got two witnesses and a notary public to it"?

Larry: Now that you had a simple answer for my simple question, I really appreciate that.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Hey, Larry, I want to say one more thing. When you did your living trust, you did a whole package of documents. You did a pour-over will, powers of attorney, living will, et cetera, on all those documents, you had a first and second choice. I'm wondering if you need to change your second choice on all the remaining documents as well?

Larry: No, that has already been done, and for some reason, the trust was overlooked and that's the final documents that needs a change to it.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay, Larry. If you want some help with that, feel free to give me a call, I'll be pleased to assist you with it.

Larry: I certainly will. Thank you so much, Tom, have a great day.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right, Larry. Bye-bye.