Trusts & Estates Law/trust amendments


hi Janet - If I need an amendment to a trust, what would be the logistics of doing that? Should I expect that I could bring my trust to a lawyer that works on trusts and they could just make an amendment that would be attached to the existing trust?


Thanks for your question.  An amendment is done the way you suggest.  I cannot speak for other lawyers, but I probably would not amend a trust I did not create; I would probably want to do a "restatement".  The reason I say that is under the California Rules of Professional Ethics, I would be responsible for any mistakes the lawyer who created that document made that I failed to catch when I prepared the amendment.  Making sure there's nothing wrong with another person's document usually takes longer that simply preparing a new trust.  That way, if there are mistakes, they are my own mistakes - and I'm perfectly willing to take responsibility for any mistakes I make (obviously, I hope I don't make a mistake - but if I did, I should be responsible for it!)

Hope that makes sense to you.


Trusts & Estates Law

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Janet Brewer


BE CAREFUL about taking legal advice from non-lawyers.

I am a licensed attorney in California. I am available to answer questions about probating estates, preparing wills and trusts, administering estates and trusts, forming family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, and establishing a wide variety of estate and gift tax-sensitive trusts (charitable trusts, children's trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, etc.).

I can also answer questions regarding the preparation of estate tax returns (Form 706) in taxable estates. Please note that I do not prepare trust income tax returns and cannot provide you with any information about that type of return.

Please note: I am only able to practice law in the State of California. I cannot answer specific questions about other states' laws; I can only provide some "general" information that may or may not apply to your situation.


I have practiced California estate, gift-planning, and probate law exclusively since 1991. I am certified as a specialist in estate planning and probate law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization (there are less than 125 such specialists practicing in Santa Clara County and fewer than 7,000 practicing in California - out of over 170,000 lawyers statewide).

I have served as an Instructor in the CFP (certificate in financial planning) program at University of California Santa Cruz, teaching the estate planning segment.

Silicon Valley Bar Association
Wealth Counsel
Wealth Advisors' Forum
Executive Committee Member, Solo and Small Firm Section of the California State Bar (appointed to a 3 year term by the California State Bar Board of Governors)

I received my law degree (J.D.) from University of Denver Law School in 1975. I was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1975 and to the California Bar in 1977 (NOTE: although I am a member of the Colorado Bar, I am on INACTIVE status there). I earned an M.B.A. in 1982, and I earned a Masters Degree in Taxation Law (LLM) at Golden Gate University Law School in 2010 (with honors).

More at:

Awards and Honors
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012 - chosen as a "SuperLawyer" - one of the top 5% of Northern California lawyers practicing in the estate planning and probate area ( Avvo Rating of 10.0/10.0

©2016 All rights reserved.