One of the great benefits of a revocable living trust is that the instrument is so flexible. Even though using a living trust requires you to perform some extra steps as you manage trust property, these are not so unwieldy that they make the trust unworkable.
Some of the steps you need to take are fairly simple, such as keeping better track of your financial and property transactions when it comes to living trust property. Other steps, however, are a little more involved. For example, there may come a time when you have to update your living trust to better reflect new circumstances in your life.
Updating the trust can require you to perform various steps, each of which your estate planning attorney will explain to you in more detail. When should you update your revocable living trust? Let’s take a look at some of the more common situations.
In many situations, moving either into or out of North Carolina will not require you to change the terms of your living trust. However, some moves may require you to enact specific changes. For example, even though most people act as their own trustee under a revocable living trust, you will want to consider making changes if someone else serves trustee. If you move and your trustee is now hundreds or thousands of miles away, this will make it much more difficult to manage the living trust.
Your Marriage and Your Living Trust in North Carolina
A lot of married couple use revocable living trusts to manage all marital property. Needless to say, if you are single and get married, or married and get divorced, you will likely need to update, or completely rewrite, the terms of your living trust. This is especially true when, for example, you go through divorce and the divorce settlement redistributes trust property between you and your former spouse. In this situation you will likely need to revoke the old trust and create a new one. You will also need to go through the process of retitling trust property into the new trust’s name.
You Have More Children
Most people use living trusts to distribute their property to their children and other family members after they die. If you create a revocable living trust before having children, you will likely need to rewrite the terms after having your first child so that you can include your child as a beneficiary.
Of course, the above situations are not the only circumstances that might cause you to update or modify your living trust. Talk to your estate planning lawyer for guidance about when and how to update your living trust.