Many people create a Living Trust or a Will, and just as often as they are created, they are changed. In the legal world these changes are called amendments. There are various reasons as to why people change a Living Trust or a Will – family arguments or a change in financial position – are the most common.
No matter what the reason, a change in your Living Trust or Will can easily be accomplished by an attorney. The original Living Trust or Will usually will set out the requirements for any future changes. If it does not, then standard California law will apply to any amendments.
The most common amendments center around successor trustees and distribution to beneficiaries. Once either of these are changed, the amendments takes effect immediately. The person who changes the Living Trust or Will is under no obligation to inform anyone of the changes, although depending on the circumstances it may be recommended.
It is often asked if it is necessary to hire a lawyer to change a Living Trust or Will. The answer lies in peace of mind. If you hire a lawyer to make the changes, it will be done correctly, and you know your estate will pass on as you intended. If you do it yourself, it might not turn out as you planned.