When you create a last will and testament you might direct for the creation of a testamentary trust. These trusts can serve a wide range of purposes, but are often used when someone wants to leave property to someone else yet have that property managed by a more responsible person, such as when a grandparent is leaving property to an underage grandchild. At some point, however, you may decide that you need to change the terms of the testamentary trust. How do you do that? Here are the two most common ways.
Your testamentary trust and the terms that govern it are contained within your last will and testament. To change any of the terms of your will you can create a codicil, an amending document that alters the original terms. Like your will, your codicil must be in writing and must comply with the laws of your state. If you fail to ensure the codicil meets those legal standards it will be useless, resulting in the original terms remaining in effect.
Codicils are often effective if you want to make a relatively minor change to the terms of your testamentary trust. Otherwise you’ll probably have to rewrite the will entirely. This isn’t incredibly difficult but, just as you did when you first wrote it, you must still ensure that the will meets all state requirements.
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