Many of the Woodland Hills clients that we here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo help to set up their estate planning tools see their situations change over time. These changes will often prompt them to consider changing the provisions of a living trust. If you find yourself in such a situation, then you may be questioning whether or not it is even possible to cancel a trust once you’ve signed the trust article. Suffice it to say that it is referred to as a revocable living trust for a reason.
The website for the State Bar of California is very clear in stating that you, as the creator of a revocable living trust, have the right to amend or cancel it at any time. The only stipulation is that you must be in a competent state to do so.
One way to cancel a trust is to remove all of the property from it, as a trust must contain property in order to be valid. To do so, you simply need to transfer any real estate, bank or brokerage accounts, and tangible property contained in the trust from you as the trustee to you as an individual. You also need remove any designations from assets that list the trustee as the beneficiary. If you have named any co-trustees, they must also sign off on the transfer of ownership of the assets.
The aforementioned method may be the better the better option if you have co-trustees that are involved in the revocation. If you are the only trustee, you may be able to cancel it by simply drafting a revocation document, have it signed before a notary public, and attach it to the trust document.
More information on canceling a trust can be found on our site.