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Modify trust, or scrap it?

Discussion in 'Estate Planning, Creating Wills & Trusts' started by OK_Evangelist, Nov 6, 2020.

  1. OK_Evangelist

    OK_Evangelist Law Topic Starter New Member

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    In 2011 my wife and I hired an attorney to write a Revocable Trust. I am still in possession of the original document.

    I need to change it now:

    1. Additional children need to be added
    2. Different home address (though I am still in Oklahoma)
    3. Different trustees need to be named
    4. Related to 3, different guardians of minor children need to be named
    5. There is a proviso to distribute a certain % of estate assets to a specific charitable organisation that needs to be removed
    6. There is a statement within the article about the charitable organisations that reads thus:
      "Trustors hereby reserve the right to amend this Trust Agreement to change any charitable beneficiary during their lifetimes, provided that at the time of such amendment any new beneficiary shall be a ((proper name of charitable)) organization which is then exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and its regulations as they now exist or as they may hereafter by amended, and an organization to which contributions are deductible under Section 170(c) of such code and regulations as they now exist or as they may hereafter be amended."

    Can anyone offer me some guidance here? Can I simply print amendments, have them signed and notarized, and keep them along with the original? Will I run into trouble given that the trust specifically says I can’t modify the charitable organization gift?

    Is it better to scrap the whole thing and do it over? If so, is there any record in anyone else’s possession that could cause problems for the trustees in case my wife and I die?

    Thank you so much!
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    While you could amend the trust in any way necessary, at a certain point, it's certainly easier to start over. I suggest that you seek the assistance of an attorney for this. It's not something you want to mess up.

    EDIT: If you've already funded the trust by transferring properties, etc., in to the trust, then it is likely easier to amend it.
    OK_Evangelist likes this.
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I have no reason to believe you lack the ability to do this. If your intent was to ask whether there's some sort of one-size-fits-all trust amendment that you can find on the internet, fill in some blanks, and have that be sufficient for the stated purposes, I have no idea. More importantly, given the extensive changes you want to make that would probably be a terrible idea.

    No one who hasn't read your trust instrument can intelligently comment on this. Generally speaking a revocable trust can be amended in any way or revoked entirely. Determining whether those things are not possible with your trust would require a review of the trust instrument.

    Maybe. Again, no one who hasn't read your trust instrument and who doesn't know anything about your personal situation can comment intelligently about this.

    In case you die? Optimistic much?

    Needless to say, no one here knows what records exist in anyone's possession.
    OK_Evangelist likes this.

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