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Is Your Living Trust Up To Date?  10 Point Checklist For Amending Your Revocable Trust

Checklist for Amending your revocable trust

Checklist for Amending your revocable trust

Note: Your revocable living trust is designed to be as dynamic as your family.  It serves as the master set of instructions to care for you and your family.  Therefore, when there are big changes in your family, you may need an experienced Miami trust attorney to amend your revocable trust.

______#1. Marriage/Divorce.  Has there been a marriage, divorce, or separation of anyone named in your will or trust?  If there has been a marriage of an adult child (without a prenuptial agreement) you may need to amend your revocable trust to make sure monies designated for this adult child are protected.

______#2. New Births Of Children/Grandchildren.  Has there been a birth or adoption of a child or grandchild?  This child or grandchild may need to be added as a beneficiary.

______#3. Discord in Family.  Is there a potential for disharmony to break out in the family if you are disabled or no longer around to maintain peace?  In such a case you need to amend your revocable trust to ensure you have  a strong, independent  successor trustee with good peace making skills.

______#4. Disability of beneficiary.   Have any of the persons you have named as a beneficiary suffered any type of mental or physical disability?  If so it may be necessary to modify your instructions to make sure any funds designated for this beneficiary are used in the most effective and prudent way possible.  For example, if a beneficiary may be entitled to receive SSI or other government benefits, this beneficiary may need a Special Needs Trust.

______#5. Poor Money Managers in the Family.  Are any children not good money managers,  or if married, have marital issues with their spouses?  Do you need to amend your trust instructions to make sure these funds are protected and cannot be grabbed by their creditors –  or an unhappy spouse?  As Miami trust attorneys, Let us know if we can help amend your trust.

______#6. Successor Trustee.  This is the person you have appointed to step into your legal shoes if you become incapacitated – in other words, one of the most important estate planning decisions you can make.  Who have you appointed to take charge if you are incapacitated?  What is the order of succession of trustees?  If you have any question whatsoever about your order of succession, please call the office at (305) 556-5209.

______#7. 2013 Estate Tax Planning Check.   The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) fundamentally changed estate tax planning beginning in 2013.   For 2016 the new law increases the estate tax exemption to $5.45 million per person.  If you have a credit shelter trust prepared prior to 2013, it should be reviewed now.  If you are not sure of the type of trust you have, call attorney Jacqueline Bowden at (305) 556-5209.

______#8. Trust Funding.  Funding is simply the transfer of your assets into your trust.  If our firm drafted your trust, immediately after you signed your trust, we reviewed how your assets are titled and gave you detailed Funding Notes.  Have you followed up on these instructions?  It is a good idea to annually review the funding of your trust.  It is also advisable to annually sign a new assignment of assets into your trust that will help sweep into the trust assets owned on the date of the transfer.

______#9. Life Insurance.  When is the last time you checked (a) the owner of your life insurance policies; and (b) the beneficiary designations for those policies?  Typically, you want your living trust to be the beneficiary of your life insurance policy because the trust provides the detailed instructions to help ensure the money is prudently used.

Big Note:  Some life insurance  should be owned by an irrevocable life insurance trust to avoid the estate tax.

______#10. Estate Plan Review.  Has it been more than three years since we sat down and reviewed your estate plan?  If so, we recommend that you schedule a meeting as soon as convenient to assess whether your plan continues to meet all the needs of your family.  This list contains some of the frequent life changes and should not be a substitute to a consultation.


To schedule an appointment to review or amend your revocable trust or the funding of your trust, call Rarick & Beskin, experienced Miami trust attorneys,  at (305) 556-5209 or email Christy at cmedina@raricklaw.com.

Special Note

The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced Miami trust attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

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