Modifying or Terminating a Trust: a Primer

Modifying or Terminating a Trust: a Primer

Most people associate estate planning with setting up a will, but depending on your circumstances and the value of your estate, there might be more to it than that. In fact, it might be possible to better protect your loved ones and your assets through a living trust.

This represents an increasingly popular estate planning tool.  You would place your property in a trust, with those assets transferring to specific beneficiaries after you pass away. With a trust your family members and friends may avoid the probate process, and your assets may be passed to them quickly.

Making changes to a trust

Although many people appreciate the flexibility trusts afford them, occasionally they wish to later modify or terminate these trusts due to changes in their circumstances. The ability to do this depends upon the type of trust a person has. There are two main types of living trusts: an irrevocable trust and a revocable trust. The former is one that cannot be changed, while the latter may be modified or cancelled at any time by the trust’s creator.

If you have a revocable trust, modifying or terminating it depends on a few different factors. To find out whether a trust is revocable, you must examine the trust documents. Additionally, sometimes state laws can impact the way a trust is interpreted and will determine whether or not you have the right to revoke or modify it.  Also, some state laws specify exactly how a trust, a trust modification or a trust termination must be executed.

To give yourself the most flexibility possible, it’s important to set up the right type of trust from the start. For the assistance you need in establishing a living trust and other key estate planning documents in Florida, contact the skilled lawyers at BaumannKangas Estate Law.