Revocable living trusts are part of many individuals' estate plans here in Michigan. One of the advantages of this type of trust is that its terms can be changed after you have established it. Thus, the trust can be altered to reflect changes in your estate planning goals.
Under Michigan law, what you need to do to make changes to the terms of a revocable trust can vary depending on the circumstances.
One thing that impacts what needs to be done to change such a trust is whether the trust contains any specific terms regarding how to make changes. If the trust does contain such terms, you generally make changes through following a method outlined by the terms.
If the trust does not have terms that specifically deal with how changes are to be made, the process for making a change depends on whether the trust was formed orally or by a writing. If it was formed orally, changes can be made by taking any action which clearly and convincingly manifests the person's intent to make a change. If the trust was formed by a writing, another writing indicating in a convincing and clear way the intent to make a change can be used to change the trust. These methods can also be used if the trust does have terms regarding changes but does not say that the methods described in the terms are the only way to make changes.
When a person is considering making a change to an element of their estate plan, whether it be a revocable living trust or some other estate planning mechanism, talking to an estate planning attorney can be a wise idea. Such attorneys can look into the details of a person's circumstances, inform them of what they would need to do to make the change they are considering, inform them of what the possible effects of the change would be and help them figure out if making the change would further their current estate planning goals.