When Should You Review Your Living Trust?

Hi there. Law Offices of Bridget Mackay, Bridget Mackay here in Petaluma, California. I practice in the area of estate planning and elder law.

Today I want to talk about reviewing your trusts. If you’re out there and you have a living trust. Maybe you got it done in the 90’s. Maybe you got it done in the 2000’s. Maybe you got it done in the 2010’s. All of you should review this trust or have it reviewed with an experienced estate planning attorney. In our office we have clients back every three years to review their trusts.

And the things that we look at when we’re looking at our trusts and meeting with our clients during their review appointment is number one. Have there been any asset changes to the trust? Have you acquired any new assets? Have any assets been transferred out of the trust? Because the most important thing to make your trust work is that it is funded properly. In other words, the assets are named in the title of the trust. Otherwise that trust document is not going to work.

The second thing we look at is are all your agents who you want them to be? Is the person you’ve chosen for successor trustee and the alternate still who you want them to be? Is the person you’ve chosen for durable power of attorney still who you want them to be? And same thing for health care directives agents. So, those are imminently important because you want the right people making the decisions on your behalf.

Thirdly you want to look and see if your distributions are correct. Has anything changed? Did anybody get married? Did anybody die? Did anybody have children? Did anybody fall out of favor? So, review those. Are there institutions or nonprofits that you now want to give to or ones that changed that you were giving to? All of those are important to look at, to make sure your intent is carried out after your death.

And then finally, the fourth change that happens is, has there been any changes in the law? And that’s not something we expect clients to know. That’s something that we know, which is why when you review your trust it’s all well and good for you to look through it. But, it’s really important to get in front of an estate planning attorney that knows what they’re doing and has experienced.

So, give your attorney a call or an experience estate attorney in your area and if all of those years I named earlier you have not reviewed your trust yet. Do it now.

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