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Is it time to modify your trust?

 

A trust is one way for a loved one to distribute assets with certain conditions and provisions to be followed that is separate from a will.

In many cases, however, there comes a time when provisions of a trust need to be modified. Below are two situations that commonly arise:

 

The conditions become impossible

A trust sounds more permanent than it is. Florida Statutes can make trusts challenging to modify, but there are exceptions. Generally, if the provisions of a trust become impossible to meet and a proposed modification to the trust is consistent with the settlor’s intent, a trustee can seek to make a change.

While the person who created the trust may have thought about many of the possibilities over time, there could be a situation they did not consider, including:

  • College funds needed for an early graduate
  • Trustee passes away before distribution of all funds in the trust

What if there is disagreement?

Agreement between the beneficiaries is helpful when seeking a trust modification, but it is not required.

There can be a situation where all beneficiaries agree on a modification, but it is inconsistent with the intent of the trust and the court would not approve the modification. The opposite can also be true. There can be disagreement between the beneficiaries, but if the modification is consistent with the benefactor’s intent, it may be approved by the court.

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