Want to amend your trust? As a recent case out of Missouri shows, you may need a few legal tips about how to do it right.
The case involved Dr. K.R. Conklin, who hand-wrote some modifications to his trust in 1996. He and his wife were embarking on a cross-country trip, and just in case something happened to them, they wanted to change the distribution of stuff in their trust.
Thankfully, Dr. Conklin survived the trip. However, when he eventually died in 2009, a fight ensued between his children -- who were beneficiaries in his original trust -- and his stepchildren, who were named in the hand-written amendment, but not the original trust. The Missouri Supreme Court determined that Dr. Conklin's hand-written letter wasn't an effective amendment to his trust.
So how can you amend a trust so that it's fool-proof? Here are a few legal tips to keep in mind: