People often need to make changes to their living trust. For example, life circumstances may result in revisions of gifts or beneficiaries. Luckily, you can easily make many changes to your living trusts with a simple amendment. For other changes, however, you may require a California trust restatement. Read on to learn more about restatements and how A People’s Choice can help you restate a living trust.

California Trust Restatement vs. Amendment

Usually, a typical trust amendment allows the trustee to make minor changes to the trust provisions. However, sometimes trustees are better off preparing an entirely new trust document.

A trust amendment is a legal document that outlines a trustor’s revisions to their original trust. After submission, the trust amendment becomes part of the living trust. Common changes outlined in a trust amendment include adding or deleting specific bequests, changing who will serve as the successor trustee, and updating the beneficiary’s name due to marriage or divorce.

As an alternative, if the trust document requires substantial revisions, trustors may elect to rewrite the entire trust. Making this complete revision to a living trust is known as restatement. Ultimately, the restated trust replaces the old trust and any earlier amendments. Common reasons for restating a trust include adding a new spouse as the beneficiary and changing distributions to family members. Overall, people who restate their trust typically want to change their successor trustees, beneficiaries, or other substantive aspects of their living trust.

What You Can Change When Restating a Living Trust

With a trust restatement, the trustor can change every aspect of the trust that requires amendments. For example, trustors may use a restatement to change:

  • who they nominate as successor trustee;
  • the beneficiaries;
  • what the beneficiaries will receive;
  • the property included in the trust;
  • specific gifts of trust property;
  • minor subtrust provisions; or
  • any other provision of the original trust 

Keep in mind that trustors do not need to change deeds, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, or other investments if the title of such assets is already in the trust. However, if the restatement added new assets to the trust, they must be transferred into the trust name.

Benefits of California Trust Restatement

Reinstatement Replaces All Previous Amendments

If a person or couple has already made several amendments to their trust, they can easily get confused about what provisions have and have not been changed. Thus, when a trustor reinstates their California trust, all previous changes are incorporated into one new trust document. This action eliminates the chances of a successor trustee being confused by multiple trust amendments, which is a common problem after a trustor’s death.

Reinstatement Replaces a Lost or Outdated Trust

Furthermore, a person can also restate their living trust if their original trust documents have been lost, misplaced, or destroyed. In addition, a trust restatement will update and restate a substantially out-of-date living trust to keep up with any changes to statutes or case law since the trust’s original creation.

Reinstatement Will Not Change the Name of the Trust

Finally, when a person needs to update their living trust, they can use a trust restatement to change anything and everything they want. In fact, the only thing they cannot change is the name of the trust. Even if the trustor changes all of the trust’s content and provisions, the name will stay the same. Keeping the original trust name is an important benefit of restating a living trust, as it means the trustee will not need to retitle all assets. If, on the other hand, the trustor had created an entirely new trust, they would have to re-title and place all of their assets into that trust.

How to Prepare a Restatement of Trust

For more information about California trust restatements, contact A People’s Choice. We can help you prepare your trust restatement documents as well as any other estate documents that may need revision. Ultimately, we can revise your current living trust to make sure it is in line with your wishes.

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