Livens & Reed, PLLC

Estate planning: Who can amend a trust?

Many Texas residents and others around the country are nearing retirement age or caring for older parents who have already reached that milestone. Effective estate planning can help give individuals peace of mind when considering their financial futures. However, even with an established estate plan in place, questions can still arise. Financial advisers recently discussed how changes to a trust should be made.

In order to make changes to a trust, it has to be amendable. If changes are allowed to the trust, it is important to know who has the authority to do so. Also, are the people permitted to amend the trust able to do so? In some instances, the settlors of the trust may be older and no longer have the mental capacity to make decisions regarding the trust. It may be necessary to seek a professional opinion before making a determination like this.

If someone is deemed unable to make an amendment to the trust, other actions should be taken. If a power of attorney was granted, the person granted the power may be able to make estate planning decisions. However, some trusts will not allow an attorney-in-fact to make amendments in such circumstances. Further, attorneys-in-fact are typically prohibited from making estate planning changes to a trust that would benefit themselves.

Most Texas residents want to specify how their affairs should be handled after they pass away. To ensure that their wishes are carried out, it is important to complete the estate planning process. An attorney familiar with estate administration laws can provide the proper guidance to develop an individual estate plan suited to one's specific needs.

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