RestatementPurpose: The purpose of a trust restatement is to revise the entire trust, from beginning to end. The restatement is an amendment to the trust and it also revokes all previous amendments.
Why use a Restatement? Some trusts are substantially out-of-date, or have become irrelevant due to changes in the statutes or case law. Amending these trusts paragraph by paragraph could result in a very complicated amendment that is difficult for future trustees to understand. It is faster (and therefore cheaper) in many cases for an attorney to start over with a format that the attorney knows is valid and applicable to the situation.
Do assets have to be retitled? No, the name of the trust, the trustees, and the date that the trust was established remain the same. Deeds, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and other investments do not need to be changed if the title of the assets is already in the trust.
Why is it sometimes more efficient to use a Restatement? When clients go to an attorney with a trust that was prepared by another attorney and ask that it be amended, the new attorney is unfamiliar with the trust and will need to review it at length before deciding how to amend it. The trust may have provisions that are outdated, illegal, or contrary to the clients' wishes. It is easier for the attorney to start over with a restatement, using trust language that the attorney knows will be effective. It is also cheaper for the client because the attorney does not need to charge them for a lengthy review of their current trust. A review of the trust would be irrelevant because the entire trust will be amended.