Q: I have a Trust and Living Will with an Amendment. I want to revert to the original. Can I simply tear up the Amendment?
The Amendment was done about 7 years after the original Trust by a different lawyer. It was a change to my beneficiaries. Now I want to reverse that. Do I need to see a lawyer or can I simply tear up the Amendment so that the original stands as is?
A: If you destroy it with the intent to revoke it is revoked.
But you already revoked the original.
So, you should do a new one, making your intentions clear!
Sally Bergman agrees with this answer
A: I agree with my colleague that you should do what is called a restatement of your original trust, particularly when there have been major changes in beneficiaries between the original and the amendment. Those beneficiaries in the amendment could otherwise try to make claims that the Amendment was lost and not destroyed. Also, I'm guessing it's probably about ten years since the original trust was prepared so It's likely time to have it reviewed and possibly changed anyway.
A: You can destroy it, but the better practice is to revoke it in writing by another amendment and to reaffirm the original trust agreement to avoid arguments that the amendment was not revoked it was merely lost.
A: Rather than tear it up, you should, at the very least, sign another document to revoke (cancel) the first amendment and reconfirm that everything in the initial trust document still stands. The reason is this: if someone gets a hold of the signed first amendment after you've passed away, your loved ones and the court could easily interpret the first amendment as part of the trust and your wishes would not be carried out. It's always best to be safe than sorry! If you don't want your loved ones spending a fortune fighting in court, clear up everything now. All the best.
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