What do I do if I can't find my Original Revocable Living Trust Agreement but I still have the Copy?

That is a great question! Many people face this issue and don’t know what to do. It is extremely important to contact a knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney if you happen to experience this dilemma. A good Estate Planning Attorney will make sure to assess your specific situation to determine whether the best plan of action would be to restate your Revocable Living Trust (as a Restatement); and/or whether you would absolutely need to create a new Revocable Living Trust.

It is always advised, to the extent possible, that an individual not create a new Revocable Living Trust if a prior Trust already exists. This is because there are certain assets that are funded into the Revocable Living Trust (shortly after execution) and creating a new Revocable Trust would require title to those assets to be transferred to the new Trust (i.e. via assignment and/or transfer deed). Individuals who forget or don’t realize this “second funding” event needs to happen may risk having their assets enter probate or be distributed to unintended beneficiaries.

An alternative to creating a new Revocable Living Trust, where a copy of the old Trust exists, is to Restate the terms of the Revocable Living Trust. Restating a Revocable Living Trust requires an individual to execute a new Trust document, under the same formalities as the original Trust document, and the terms of said Restated Trust Document will state that the new terms supersede and/or replace any prior terms. In other words, all of the Trust terms are replaced, however, the Titling (or name and date) of the Trust stays the same (as to not trigger a second funding event). In this case, an individual would typically need to know the name of the Trust and which Article of the Trust allows for Amendments/Restatements.

Contact The Presser Law Firm, P.A. to obtain a complimentary consultation on Asset Protection, Estate Planning and/or Business Law. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Business Law. Call us today – (561) 953 1050 or e-mail info@assetprotectionattorneys.com.

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