When it comes to changing the terms in a living trust, some people want to do it on their own. I mean, it isn't that hard to change a successor trustee from your son John to your daughter Judy when he moves out of state. You simply make an amendment that says "Judy is the successor trustee and have a notary notarize it, right?
Well, that is an option in Florida, but if you have ever seen a DIY television show you know that even a simple mistake can compound into a major one. Even when you don't make a mistake, too many changes can end with a complicated, unfinished look. The same applies to living trusts.
When you make a small mistake, you may not even know that one has occurred. However, make a small error in a term and it could result in large complications later. The second problem: making too many changes. Too many amendments can actually make the "big picture" so confusing, carrying out the terms can cause more complication.
A simpler solution is to complete a restatement, this is an official and single document that amends and replaces the prior trust document. One document is easier to both keep track of and understand. Also, copying even a trust document that technically belongs to you and making an amendment could cause it to "fall apart" in court.
Attorneys are not just there at the first execution of a trust document. True, legal advice and assistance is vital at the planning stages. An attorney who is familiar with your estate can help through the planning, amending and executing stages of any estate planning document.
Source: NWI, "ESTATE PLANNING: Trusts are not a do-it-yourself job," Christopher W. Yugo, Jan. 13, 2013
Our Florida law firm helps with probate and trust administration at every stage in the process.