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August 16, 2021

When should I consider a Trust Restatement?

Typically, Trusts need to be reviewed from time to time to ensure they still reflect your wishes and take current laws into account. When changes need to be made, a Restatement can be a useful option.

What is a Trust Restatement?

With a Revocable Living Trust, the Settlor reserves the right to amend their Trust—a feature many clients find very appealing. A “Trust Restatement” or a “Restated Trust” is essentially exercising your right to amend the entire Trust.

All the clauses are replaced. (Obviously you are welcome to leave any aspects, you wish to have remain).

The only things that remain the same is the Trust’s name, original signing date, and any assets titled to the Trust, remain titled to the Trust.

What is the advantage of Restating a Trust vs. creating a new Trust?

If you Restate your Trust, legally it is the same Trust you have always had (even if every clause has changed). The advantage is, you do not need to retitle assets that have already been titled to your Trust. If you have financial accounts, real estate, or other assets that have already been moved over to your Trust—none of that needs to be re-done. This could save you a great deal of time, hassle, and cost.

How is a Restatement different than an Amendment?

An Amendment to a Trust is typically used for minor changes. If you need to update a Successor Trustee or add a single Beneficiary, an Amendment might make the most sense.

If your Trust is very old (there are usually changes in law we need to address), you want to make extensive changes, or you have already done several Amendments—it usually makes more sense to do a Restatement.

This article represents the opinion of the author and is intended for educational purposes. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. One should always consult with an experienced attorney before making estate planning decisions.

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