Asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina

Q: Self-recreation/revision of a current Living Trust - rules that apply

I have a Living Trust. The attorney who created the document almost 20 years ago no longer wants to be my Trustee, Power of Attorney and Healthcare Proxy. I’ve given this attorney over $12,000 through the last 20 years in changing details and in creating “Fourth Full Restatement of ...” of the original document. I want to use about 40 pages of the most recent Restatement and make my own Trust, changing the other half dozen or so pages with corrected information to eliminate this attorney. The attorney is willing to create another “Full Restatement” for another $3,000, less a few thousand for various discounts, still bringing it to over $2,300. I’ve had enough and want to just make the needed corrections on my own. Two question: First, can I legally use the actual pages from the current “Full Restatement” that do not need changing as part of my creation? Second, if so, can I name the document “Fifth Full Restatement of ...” or do I have to rename it completely?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Anthony M. Avery
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN

A: You are going to need to hire an attorney to draft that Trust. It is complicated, but you probably do not need a SC licensed attorney. Most importantly, you need a new Trustee, which may be difficult to find. The new Trust should appoint the new Trustee, and you may need to revoke your prior Declarations, possibly by recording the same. You may also consider abandoning the Trust running your affairs, and instead plan your Estate.

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