How do I change or update a trust after it's been created?

Estate & Tax Attorney, Sonja Panajotovic, shares advice on how a person can make changes to an estate planning document after it has been created
How To Change Or Update A Trust After It's Been Created
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How do I change or update a trust after it's been created?

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Any changes that you make to an estate planning document have to be done in the same manner in which the document was created. For example, a change to a trust has to be done by amendment that gets notarized. So no crossing off a name or changing a dollar amount on the actual trust document itself is not valid. For example, if you had a will and you wanted to make a change to a will, the will has a different procedure. It does not get notarized or I guess it depends on what state it is, but here in California a will does not get notarized. It gets witnessed. So a typed document that you want to make changes to also any changes that you make to that document need to be witnessed. So yes, you can make changes to it but it has to be done in the manner in which made the will valid in the first place. A will actually does not have to be a fancy document. It can just be a handwritten document that is signed and dated. You do not need to go to a lawyer. It can be all done in your own handwriting and as long as it is signed and dated, it is enforceable.

Estate & Tax Attorney, Sonja Panajotovic, shares advice on how a person can make changes to an estate planning document after it has been created

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Sonja Panajotovic

Estate & Tax Attorney

In 1992, Ms. Panajotovic graduated from University of Colorado, Boulder with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration/Finance and with multiple honors as a scholar/athlete (tennis) and honored as Academic All Big Eight, and Scholar Athlete of the year. She earned her law degree from the Southwestern University School of Law and graduated Cum Laude, was an Associate Editor for the Law Review, and on the Dean’s List, and began her legal career as a law clerk for Magistrate Judge Margaret A. Nagle, United States District Court, Los Angeles, and as an associate at the prestigious law firm of Brobeck Phleger & Harrison LLP.

Sonja Panajotovic’s estate planning services include the preparation of documents ranging from simple wills to advanced health care directives, asset transfers and living trusts. She also counsels many of her clients on the various types of trusts such as the marital deduction trust, special needs trusts, Q-TIP trusts, and charitable remainder trusts and helps her clients coordinate their trusts with their overall estate planning needs.

 Her probate and estate practice is also designed to provide full legal services to personal representatives of decedent's estates, trustees, and guardians/conservators for minors or incapacitated adults, including all proceedings in the probate court. She aids her clients with estate and trust administration to efficiently transfer assets from decedent's trusts or estates to intended beneficiaries at death.

Guardianship, Wills and Trusts
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