If you have an irrevocable trust, you are familiar with the advantages. For example, you most likely know that the trust assets cannot be reached by creditors or court judgments. There are also tax advantages to you during your lifetime and the assets pass to your named beneficiaries without going through the probate process.
All this works well for you until you want to make changes to the irrevocable trust. The word irrevocable means “not able to be changed.” While that is technically true, with the assistance of an experienced trust attorney, you may be able to make the modifications you want.
Begin by Evaluating the Trust Document
Before using any strategy to make changes to the irrevocable trust, evaluate the trust document itself. Look at:
- The parties to the trust. Are they alive and competent? Can they agree with the changes you propose making?
- The trust provisions. Has there ever been changes to it? What law governs the trust and is there a provision within it about changing the terms?
- The trust assets. What is their value? Is stock included? Life insurance? Real estate?
- The tax status of the trust.
Ways to Change an Irrevocable Trust
All methods of change are complicated and take the skill of a knowledgeable and experienced trust attorney. Some examples are:
- Judicial modification. You must submit your proposed changes to the court and the reasons behind your modification request. If the court agrees, it will issue an order allowing the modification.
- Decanting. This means that you move assets from the irrevocable trust into an entirely new trust.
- Sale of trust assets. An asset may be sold to another trust or the trust can be merged with another trust that has more favorable terms.
Each method has its own requirements that must be met to be certain the changes comply with Texas law.
Contact Wills and Trusts Attorneys at The Reecer Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
Our attorneys at The Reecer Law Firm, P.L.L.C., will evaluate your irrevocable trust document to determine if changes can be made and, if so, the best method to make the changes you desire.
Our founder, Dena A. Reecer, is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is one of just a few attorneys who specialize in the preparation of wills and trusts. You can contact our firm online or call us at 940-382-3168 to schedule a consultation.