How Often May a Living Trust Require Changes or Updates?

You may add or remove assets transferred to a revocable living trust as often as necessary until your death. Your beneficiaries and the instructions regarding how your trustee should manage your property may also change.

As reported by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, an estate plan requires updating when you have a new loved one, child or pet in your life. Reviewing your documents after a marriage or divorce serves as a checkup to determine whether your trust meets your overall goals.

Tax and regulatory amendments may require updates

In 2019, Michigan repealed its inheritance tax. The AARP also noted that as of 2021, the federal government no longer imposes an estate tax for up to $11.7 million worth of assets left by an individual or $23.4 million per married couple.

Individuals may choose to create trusts to reduce their heirs’ potential tax liabilities. If Congress amends federal estate tax laws, you may need to revise your trust documents to reflect those changes. Revisions in Michigan’s tax laws may also require a revision to your estate plan.

Changes may include a revised health care directive

Strong estate plans include a health care directive that names an agent to discuss medical issues on your behalf. If you experience a sudden change in your physical or mental health, you may need to update your documents.

A revision may reflect new wishes that you have for medical treatment such as instructions for prescriptions, procedures and end-of-life care. You may also change your agent for any reason if, for example, he or she moves or fails to meet your needs.

Effective estate planning includes taking into account new circumstances and revising your instructions as needed. If you have new loved ones to add as beneficiaries or if you purchase or dispose of assets, you may amend your documents to reflect these changes.