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Keeping trust documents updated can prevent frustration

Mar 20, 2018 | Probate & Estate Administration

Imagine the frustration that can come with not being able to locate an important legal document when it is needed. Amplify that frustration when the document is found, but is either out of date, incorrect or an unauthorized copy. Estate blunders such as these can provoke feelings of frustration, confusion and anxiety for successors and heirs when the time comes to administer one’s estate. In Florida, a trust or a will must be kept up to date to avoid common problems that can confuse or slow down the administration process. 

There are a few scenarios that can quickly muddle the process. In one situation, an old, out-of-date trust was preserved, but the new trust was not immediately found. The successor began to administer the estate by using the old document, and then the new one was located. She had wasted significant time and legal fees in administering the out-of-date document, which could have been avoided if she had the correct item in the first place. 

Updates are always important in the event of a life change. A marriage, a divorce, the sale of real estate property — these types of events call for a review and renewal of estate planning documents. Another good rule-of-thumb is to review the estate plan every five years. 

A trust may become subject to certain changes over the lifetime of the trustee. If the assets are valuable enough to be placed in a trust, then they are valuable enough to be kept up to date. In Florida, a trust administration attorney can assist with important updates to documents. 

Source:, “Estate Planning: Blunders to avoid“, Dennis Fordham, Nov. 4, 2017