I was recently asked how to prevent someone from fraudulently changing the terms of a trust by removing pages and inserting changes. The answer is, the wider the distribution of the trust’s contents, the more difficult it is to commit fraud. Distributing multiple copies of the trust instrument will eliminate the possibility of the one and only copy being changed to meet some fraudulent goal. You can also record your living trust with the county recorder’s office. Additionally, make sure that people who have copies of your trust document are updated as to any changes you might make, and give them the name and contact information of the attorney who created your trust so if fraudulent versions do appear, the attorney can be called upon to produce a copy of the original document from the attorney’s records.
Litherland, Kennedy & Associates have been providing quality estate planning services in the Greater Bay Area since 1975. They are committed to helping those concerned with protecting their families from the devastating legal effects of disability and death. With the aid of public seminars, educational presentations, articles, and radio/television interviews, the law office has championed the use of revocable living trusts as a proven way to protect families from probate, to minimize or eliminate federal estate taxes, and to prevent the Medi-Cal Recovery lien. Roy W. Litherland and Justin M. Kennedy are certified as Legal Specialists in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. They are members of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys and National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.