Restate that trust rather than amend the trust

I often see estate plans where clients have done 3 or 4 amendments. That is, amendment to trust # 1 from 2002, amendment #2 from 2005, etc….  Now at first blush I could say they  didn’t have a good estate planning attorney, at the outset, who created flexibility into their trust. That is possible. However, beyond that they often create great confusion and definitely a very difficult time for the attorney who has to analyze the amendments in the future.  A restatement of trust simplifies all that.

A restatement of trust replaces all previous trust documents. Rather than have an original trust and a few separate trust amendment documents you would have ONE restatement. This is much simpler to interpret.  Also, the name of the trust does NOT change. That is, the original trust name and date remain the same!  This means NO assets have to be transferred.

If your attorney proposes trust amendment #2 or 3 ask why not just do a restatement of trust. In this author’s opinion it is easier and more cost effective in the long run.