Legal Memorandum: Amendments of Revocable Trusts in NC

Issue: What is the statutory requirement for amendments of revocable trusts in North Carolina?

Area of Law: Estate Planning & Probate, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Statutory requirements for amendments; Revocable trusts
Jurisdiction: Federal, North Carolina
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: N.C. Gen. Stat. § 36C-6-602(c)(2)c; N.C. Gen. Stats. § 36C-6-602
Date: 05/01/2011

Statutory Requirements for Amendments

The Amendment statute for revocable trusts permits a settler to revoke or amend a revocable trust—

“(1) [b]y substantial compliance with a method or the method provided in the terms of the trust; or (2) [i]f the terms of the trust do not provide a method or the method provided by the terms is not expressly made exclusive, by . . . any other written method delivered to the trustee manifesting clear and convincing evidence of the settlor’s trust.”


N.C. Gen. Stat. § 36C-6-602(c)(2)c.*FN1  See also 79 Am. Jur. 2d supra § 65, at 114-15 (“When a settler has reserved the power to modify the trust and specifies a particular method of modification or particular circumstances by which the trust can be modified, the trust can be modified only in that manner. . . .  When a settler has reserved the power of modification but has not specified any method of modification, the settler can employ any method that sufficiently manifests the intention to modify the trust.  When a revocable trust does not expressly provide an exclusive method for modification or amendment, it may be modified by a writing . . . signed by the Settlor and delivered to the trustee during the Settlor’s lifetime.”) (emphasis added).

The comments to the Uniform Trust Code focus on revocation rather than amendment.

With a trust, . . . because a revocation will terminate an already existing fiduciary relationship, there is a need to protect […]


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