how to change a living trust

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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how to change a living trust

I need to take my ex-husband off as sole beneficiary on my living trust? What’s the easiest way? Thank you.

Asked on September 5, 2017 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the trust was an irrevocable trust, you *can't* change it: as the term "irrevocable" implies, the trust cannot be changed--whether modified, beneficiaries changed, revoked, etc.--once made. If it is a revocable trust, it can be altered or even revoked entirely by a new written instrument/document which is signed and witnessed like the document creating a trust and which specifically states the change, etc. it is making. If unsure whether the trust is irrevocable or revocable, or if revocable, how to draft, sign, witness, etc. the document changing it, go to a new trusts and estates attorney for help, bringing copies of the trust paperwork.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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