8 Signs That It’s Time to Update Your Living Trust

8 Signs That It’s Time to Update Your Living Trust

Many of our clients are relieved to have finally completed their Living Trusts, but it may have been many years and life events ago that they created these legal documents. Something to keep in mind: a Trust is a Living document–there are many socioeconomic factors affecting our lives that need to be recorded in our Living Trusts.

Wondering whether it’s time to update your Trust? Here are 8 indicators that it’s time for an update:

  1. Instead of something that feels like the distant future, retirement is suddenly looming on the horizon.
  2. When you created your Trust, you were a parent; now you’re a grandparent and need to add or change beneficiaries.
  3. When you created your Trust, you worked for a bank; today, you’re a partner in a successful consulting firm.
  4. You’re still married, but the person listed as your spouse is from a previous marriage.
  5. The person that you identify as your emergency contact is now deceased.
  6. Increased assets–you’ve made some significant investments that have not been transferred into your Living Trust.
  7. Your vacation property—real property—hasn’t been transferred into your Trust. A Quitclaim Deed transfers an owner’s interest in real property to his/her Trust.
  8. You’ve moved to a different state—or country!

To also keep in mind:

  • Most older Trusts fail to have any Incapacity Planning provision. Your Trust should have provisions for how incapacity will be determined, how assets will be used during any period of incapacity and instructions on care. Will you stay at home as long as possible with in-home care? Do you want to stay near a child or other relative? If you don’t state your wishes, it will be left to the judgment of the Trustee or the Court.
  • Most pre-2012 Trusts don’t have provision for government benefit planning. If there is any possibility that you or your spouse will need government assistance, such as skilled nursing, your Trust should include the power for your Trustee to deal with government agencies to apply for benefits, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Stop in to one of our three California Document Preparers offices soon to update your Living Trust. We also include a Power of Attorney and Advance Healthcare Directive in our Living Trust package.