If you are the trustee or beneficiary of a trust-based estate plan, you may be looking forward to the benefits of a probate-free settling of the estate. However, some trust documents contain provisions that do not reflect the true intent of the trust maker. In these cases, you may need an attorney’s help to legally modify the terms of a revocable or irrevocable trust. This process is known as trust reformation.
When Would I Need to Reform a Trust?
Trusts can offer significant advantages over will-based estate plans, but only if they are properly drafted, executed, and updated. Any errors or omissions could have the power to accidentally disinherit a family member or significantly diminish the value of an estate. If you suspect that a trust did not provide the benefits a trust was meant to provide, our legal team can help you make changes to trust documents.
We can reform the trust in a way that will:
- Offer maximum tax benefits. Reducing or avoiding taxation is one of the key goals in the formation of a trust. If the original creation of the trust did not account for changes in state or federal inheritance and tax laws, the trust may need to be modified.
- Clarify the language of a trust document. If there are confusing or conflicting instructions in an otherwise valid trust, reformation may be needed to correct these errors.
- Update the provisions of the trust. Reformation may be used to update trust documents that were created before the birth or death of family members or considerable changes in the family’s financial situation.
- Prevent future legal challenges. If done properly, reconstruction may prevent future trust contests from beneficiaries and other entities. This can save trustees from costly legal challenges down the road.
Our experienced New York estate litigation lawyers can help you determine the best way to alter a trust. Contact Landskind & Ricaforte Law Group today through our online form to learn how we can help.