Generally, and subject to a few exceptions, people can amend, replace, or void their wills or their revocable trusts whenever they wish as long as: (1) They are mentally competent to do so; (2) the change is not the result of undue influence, fraud, duress, coercion, etc. brought about by someone else; and (3) the change complies with any procedural requirements provided for in the document being changed and those that are imposed by law. As for irrevocable trusts (including revocable trusts that have become irrevocable), they generally cannot be changed, but there are some exceptions to that principle, as well.
Concerns often arise in estate disputes over whether one or more amendments to a will or revocable trust have met any procedural requirements, were made by someone who had legal capacity, and were not the result of some improper conduct by another person. Also, once the person who executed an estate plan has died, there are times when one or more of the surviving interested parties wants to make a change. If you find yourself dealing with any of these issues and want to talk to an experienced trust and estates attorney, please contact Jim for a no-charge discussion about your situation.
*The law in this area frequently evolves. This discussion is meant only to set out current general principles, which are subject to exceptions as well as to change by statute and by case law. You should not rely on this discussion in addressing your legal obligations and rights or your legal questions but should instead consult an attorney.