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What document is required to specify additional successor trustees beyond the original revocable living trust (RLT)?

Kalamazoo, MI |

Due to failing health, my mother recentlt resigned as trustee of her RLT. The RLT lists me as the successor trustee. I'd like to have my two sisters also designated as successor trustees in case I die before my mother. My mother is okay with doing this. What form is required? Can it be a simple document signed by my mother and notarized?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    I would agree with Attorney Fromm that an amendment is the best way to achieve what you are trying to accomplish. It would be a good idea, while your mother is still competent, to review the remaining provisions of the trust., to make sure that it still satisfies her objectives. If it does, then I am not sure that you would need an attorney to draft the amendment. If the only change is to add two alternate successor trustees, then you might be able to amend the trust on your own. You would want to have two disinterested witnesses and a notary who are present when your mother signs the amendment. The amendment should be dated and it should refer to the original trust and to the paragraph in the trust that you are amending.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions or concerns.

    Best of luck to you!

    James Frederick

  2. If the trust document does not name successors, then the simplest method is to amend the trust document. States vary as to the execution requirements and since this is such an important matter, you need to have this done by an experienced estate planning attorney. In fact you should go back to the attorney who drafted the trust if you feel he is competent and have him draft an amendment. This should not be too expensive, either.

    Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below and/or designate my answer as best answer. Thanks.
    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law in PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties and services clients in all parts of Pennsylvania. He can be reached at 215-735-2336 or at the email address listed below. He has an AV Preeminent Rating (5.0 out of 5.0) with Martindale-Hubbel, the highest possible rating for legal ability and ethical standards. Also, he has received a 10.0 rating from AVVO and was featured as a 5Star Wealth Manager in the Philadelphia Magazine, November 2009 issue on page 123.
    Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
    By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question.
    Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

  3. An amendment to the trust must be prepared, and signed, witnessed and notarized in the same manner the original trust was signed.

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