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Issues to consider when amending a trust

Nevada residents and others may want to amend their trust or amend one on behalf of a parent. The first step is to ensure that a trust's terms can be changed. In many cases, the terms can be amended assuming that the proper procedures are followed. Depending on the trust's language, it may be possible for an attorney-in-fact (AIF) to make changes if the creator of the trust doesn't have the mental capacity to do so.

The AIF provision is usually a part of a power of attorney. However, it is important to check to be sure that this power is granted before proceeding with making amendments to a trust. Successor trustees may be able to go to court to get an order that makes it possible to alter its terms or otherwise go against the language already contained within the trust. This may be beneficial in cases where an amendment by an AIF could be seen as self-serving.

When properly constructed, a trust can be a powerful estate planning tool. It can help a person retain control over assets while alive and after passing. Furthermore, keeping assets within a trust can also make it easier to help an estate avoid probate. Avoiding probate means that assets can be transferred quickly and privately. Therefore, it may make it less likely that family disputes or other issues derail an estate plan.

Those who have questions about creating such a plan may benefit from consulting with an attorney. Individuals who already have an estate plan may want to review it with legal counsel. Doing so may provide an opportunity to determine if it still meets a person's needs. If not, altering a plan with the help of a lawyer may prevent a person from making costly mistakes.

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