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Q & A: Can the Creator of a Revocable Trust Make Whatever Changes She Wants Without Telling Anyone?

Q: If the creator of a revocable trust wants to make a beneficiary a co-trustee and make the current successor trustee a beneficiary, does she have an obligation to inform the current trustee of the change? Simply, can the trust's creator make whatever changes she wishes without telling anyone?

A: The creator of a revocable trust, often called the "grantor," "donor," or "trustor," can make whatever changes she wants. She does not have to tell the beneficiaries that she is changing trustees, but she does need to inform the current trustee. Otherwise, the trustee may continue acting in that role with no knowledge that she has been removed. The trust instrument may provide guidelines on how to give the notice. For instance, it may require 30 days written notice. Successor trustees do not have to be notified that they have been removed.

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