This page provides a template for amending a revocable living trust or a similar type of revocable estate planning trust. If the trust is an irrevocable trust or the trust document states that it may not be changed, do not attempt to change it by executing a Trust Amendment. Consult an attorney on how to proceed. Read the instructions at the end of the form before using this template and review our page on
codicils and amendments.
The following is a sample Trust Amendment Form:
FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST OF Insert full name of grantor as shown on original Trust AgreementI, Insert full name of grantor, referred to herein as the "Grantor", currently domiciled in insert county and state of grantor's residence, executed the Revocable Living Trust of insert grantor's name, hereinafter the "Trust", on insert date the original Trust Agreement was executed. I, insert full name of grantor, am the Trustee of the Trust; andWHEREAS, the Trust provides that I can amend the Trust in (insert applicable Article and Section of the Trust); andWHEREAS, I desire to amend the Trust;NOW THEREFORE, the Trust is hereby amended as set forth below.I. Article _, Section _ of the Trust is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following language: insert here the revised language containing the changes you want to make.II. Except as revised and amended by this First Amendment, the Revocable Living Trust of insert name of grantor is ratified and republished.IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the provisions of this FIRST AMENDMENT to the Revocable Living Trust of insert full name of grantor shall bind the Grantor, Trustees, beneficiaries, and their successors and assigns.Insert the day, month, and year the Trust Amendment is executedinsert signature line for GrantorUnder the signature line, insert the full name of grantor, Signed as Grantor and TrusteeInsert the notary acknowledgement language for the correct state and include sufficient space for the notarial seal and signature of the Notary Public.
Instructions for Using the Trust Amendment Form
1. The Trust Amendment Form is only intended for use when very simple changes are being made to the original trust. For example, if the Trust Agreement merely needs to be modified to change the name of the successor trustee or correct a small error in the trust, the Trust Amendment Form may be used. However, if extensive changes are needed, such as adding new Articles or Sections, it may be necessary to use a Trust Restatement Form to restate the trust showing all the changes as incorporated into the Trust Agreement in its entirety. In some circumstances, the revisions to a trust are significant and the original trust instrument must be revoked. This requires the grantor or settlor to make a new trust. Consult a lawyer about how to change your estate planning trust. For tips on how much it may cost, see
finding an attorney.2. The Trust Amendment Form shown above has certain language in italics. The language in italics should be replaced with names, dates, and other language specific to the trust you are amending. Also, if the original Trust Agreement uses the term settlor instead of grantor, replace the term grantor with settlor throughout the Trust Amendment Form.3. Follow all requirements of applicable state law when executing the Trust Amendment Form. For example, have the document witnessed, notarized, etc. as required by state law. To find state laws on creating and administering trusts in your state, see Trust Law. Also, the grantors or settlors and trustees should write their initials on the bottom of each page of the Trust Amendment.4. All grantors or settlors and current trustees must sign the Trust Amendment. If you want to revise a trust but all required individuals cannot or will not sign the document, contact a lawyer for advice on how to proceed.5. The Trust Amendment Form shown on this page may not be valid under the laws of the state that govern your estate planning trust. Meet with a lawyer to have your trust documents reviewed before attempting to make any changes. Before signing the Trust Amendment, review our tips on Using Living Trust Forms to avoid common mistakes.6. An often overlooked but critical step in amending a trust is properly storing the document after it is executed. For example, if your heirs only find the Trust Amendment and not the original Trust Agreement, they will be unable to adhere to your estate plan. Similarly, if the successor trustee has the original trust instrument but not the Trust Amendment, your changes to the trust will not be followed. Properly store your original Trust Agreement, Trust Amendment, any restatements of the Trust, Pour-Over Will, and related estate planning documents in a location your successor trustee or executor can easily locate. An estate planning attorney can explain the best method for storing these documents and can also offer more secure storage methods.