Does an Amendment to a Revocable Trust Need to Be Notarized And/Or Witnessed After it Is Signed?

by Luke Arthur ; Updated July 27, 2017

Creating a revocable living trust requires you to have the document notarized at the time it is originated. This makes it official in the eyes of the probate court and makes it enforceable. Once you create a living trust, you can alter it by making an amendment to it. When you amend the trust, it will also need to be made official if you want it to be enforced.

Trust Amendment

A trust amendment is a document, which changes some of the terms ,that you simply attach to the original trust. This type of document is used if you want to add something to the trust, such as a piece of property or a beneficiary. Using this type of document is most appropriate when you are simply making a small change to your revocable trust instead of changing the entire document. If large changes are needed, restating your trust might make more sense. ,

Notarization

When you want to change your revocable trust through an amendment, you will need to make it official before it can be used. To make the document legally binding, you will need to have it notarized. The original trust document was notarized and any amendments to that document must also be notarized. After you sign the trust amendment, contact a notary to have the document officially notarized. At that point, your amendment will become part of the revocable trust.

If Not Notarized

While you could potentially skip the notarization process and just attach the amendment to the original trust, it may cause problems for your beneficiaries in the future. If you do not have the document notarized, it may not be allowed by the court if the trust is contested. One of your beneficiaries could try to make an amendment and fake your signature after your death to change the inheritance. This is why notarizing your document is important.

Restatement

If you need to make large changes to your revocable trust, using a restatement can be more effective. This is essentially creating a new trust document and attaching it to the old one. If you change your trust with this method, you will also need to have the restatement notarized. Otherwise, the probate court would refer to the original trust document if your trust is contested by beneficiaries.

About the Author

Luke Arthur has been writing professionally since 2004 on a number of different subjects. In addition to writing informative articles, he published a book, "Modern Day Parables," in 2008. Arthur holds a Bachelor of Science in business from Missouri State University.