Too Many Will Codicils and Living Trust Amendments Can Cause Problems:
If a person wants to change their Will, then we prepare a document called a “Codicil” for our client. If someone wants to change their Living Trust, then a document called a “Trust Amendment” is what needs to be prepared.
In the case of a Trust Amendment, instead of rewriting the trust (also called “restating” the trust), an amendment is simply attached to the original trust agreement to show an intent to change parts of the original trust agreement.
We don’t want our clients to rely too much on amendments. The problem with multiple Codicils and Trust Amendments is that they confuse things. They are often lost or separated, so when the parents die the family may not know that they intended to change in their Will or Living Trust.
When there is more than one Codicil or Trust Amendment they are often not drafted to consider what went before. Trust Amendments should be clearly numbered, they should clearly reference each clause in the original document that is being changed, and they should clearly and separately state the new language that is being substituted-in. In many cases, when we look at other estate plans, we find that this is not the case. We often advise that you completely restate your trust if there have been multiple amendments and you find you need to make more changes.