Restatements, Amendments and Codicils

No one should rely on an old, out-of-date Trust or Last Will and Testament (Will) as the foundation of their estate plan. In our“Don’t Set-it-And-Forget-It” Blog Post, we talked about how important estate planning updates are. Many life events, even small ones, can change your estate plan. Restatements, Amendments, and Codicils can be used to update your estate plan. We are very familiar with those words here at McClenaghan Law Group, but we know that you might need some more information before you’re ready to decide which one is right for you. Keep reading to learn more about these different options!

Trust Updates: Restatements v. Trust Amendments

The two options to modify your trust are Restatements and Trust Amendments. Restatements are just what they sound like; you are stating your entire trust again with some updates! Trust amendments are similar, but simply remove and replace the specific sections you would like to change. How do you know which one of these to ask for? Well, you just ask your attorney! (insert laughter) Okay, jokes aside, there are a few factors that can help you determine which option makes the most sense. Generally, if you’re making one or two changes, an Amendment would be sufficient. If you want numerous or comprehensive changes, it would be best to consider a Restatement to your trust. Restatements are also helpful when you have existing amendments that you would like to condense into your restatement. Amendments only change a part or parts of the revocable living trust but the rest of the provisions in the original document remain in effect.

Will Updates: Codicils

Codicils are used to make small changes to a Last Will and Testament or Pour-Over Will. The codicil only changes a part of the Will but the rest of the provisions in the original document will remain in effect (similar to a trust amendment). If you want to make major changes to this document, it may be better for you to have a new Will created instead of trying to amend your existing one. This helps ensure that you have the most control and that your wishes are clearly being expressed. We don’t want any confusion when it comes to your Last Will and Testament! If you choose to have the Will redrafted, this becomes your new controlling document and the existing Will is no longer in effect.

When it is time for you to have your estate planning documents updated, give us a call! Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all option for estate planning, so it is best to include your attorney in the process. Call us at 614-429-1053 to book a consultation, or email to get scheduled today!