Review your trust before it's too late.
Having a trust reviewed is an essential step in ensuring that your estate plan wishes are carried out and can prevent any potential conflicts between family members after the trust grantor's (creator's) death. If you had a trust created several years ago, a trust review allows for the identification and resolution of any issues, legal changes, ambiguities, or inconsistencies that may exist within the trust themselves, leading to misunderstandings and disagreements that could result in costly and time consuming legal disputes.
Recently, we had a conversation with someone who found themselves in an unfortunate situation and was looking for guidance. Their spouse, who also happened to be the trust grantor, had passed away and left behind a trust for her with the intention of providing her with a life-long income stream. The trust was created over 20 years ago and had never been professionally reviewed. The trust document had contained several ambiguous provisions, which created confusion among the family members regarding the proper distribution of assets from the trust. Apparently, this confusion ultimately led to a failure of the trust in accomplishing what it was initially designed to do. The dispute eventually led to a legal battle between family members and put a significant strain on multiple family relationships. Had the trust been reviewed and the ambiguities resolved beforehand, the family members could have avoided this unfortunate outcome. Let this serve as a reminder that if you have a trust, a trust review could potentially identify any ambiguities in the trust language and ensure that the trust creator's final wishes are carried out smoothly and without conflict.