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Helping You Navigate Complex Legal Issues

Amending a joint trust

Gregory A. Lang

We here at the Lang Law Office often work with couples in Hennepin looking to set up joint trusts to help manage their assets and prepare for the transition of those assets to their children. If you have set up such an account with your spouse, you may believe that you will never have to amend it. Yet what if you do? How much freedom are you given to change a trust for which you and your spouse are both settlors? Such information may be important to have before the issue of an amendment ever comes up.

There are several reasons which may require the amendment of a joint trust. You may relinquish ownership of a property held within it. If your children are named as beneficiaries, and one happens to pass way, you may want to revisit the terms of the trust in order to allocate his or her share of the assets to his or her surviving siblings. However, the most common reason to amend a joint trust between spouses is due to divorce.

Your divorce itself does not necessitate the need to amend a trust; after all, its terms may still be valid despite the termination of your marriage. If you remarry, however, then you likely will want to include provisions that see to the care of your new spouse.

Minnesota state law sets the following guidelines on amending trusts with multiple settlors:

  •          If it contains community property, you can revoke it on your own, but you and your co-settlor must agree to amend it.
  •          You may amend any terms related to your own personal property contained therein.
  •          If you do choose to make any changes, you must notify your co-settlor immediately.

You can find more information on trust management here on our site. 

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