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Can I modify a trust after it has been created?

When going through the estate planning process, the hope is to set something up that will not only offer the protections one desires but will also stand the test of time. For many Massachusetts residents, setting up a trust is the way to meet these goals. However, some worry that doing so will lock them into something they may not be happy with down the line. The good news is, a trust may be modified if needed.

The person to whom the trust belongs should be able to modify it as he or she sees fit at any time. He or she can do this for a variety of reasons. Thankfully, those wishing to adjust their trusts do not typically have to go to court to get it done; however, written agreement between the trust owner and beneficiaries may be needed before the modifications can be made.

A trust cannot be changed after the owner passes away unless there is sufficient cause to make the adjustment. For example, if law changes no longer support the document as is, beneficiaries may petition the court to modify the terms. A couple of other reasons to request a trust modification are if beneficiaries believe the terms are too restrictive, or issues with the trustee arise -- among others. The point is, sometimes, despite the trust owner's intent, the terms may not work.

A trust can serve several valuable purposes. For many Massachusetts residents, it is something worth having. Legal counsel can help one create a trust document that offers the protection one desires. Further assistance can be provided if, for some reason, this document no longer serves its purpose.

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