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The Advantages of an Irrevocable Trust Outweigh the Disadvantages
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Currently offering a free case review

Call us at 949-706-7300

What is an Irrevocable Trust

An irrevocable trust is a type of trust vehicle where it’s terms are not modifiable, amended, or terminated without the permission of the Grantor is named beneficiary and heirs. In an irrevocable Trust, the Grantor transfers ownership of their assets into the irrevocable Trust. By moving the assets, it legally removes them of the rights of ownership to the assets within the Trust.


How does an Irrevocable Trust Work

An irrevocable trust has a trustor grantor, a trustee, and a beneficiary or beneficiaries. When a grantor places assets into the Trust, it is a gift to the Trust, and that’s the grand tour can no longer revoke it. The Grantor will work with the Trustee and beneficiaries to dictate the terms, rules, and the use of the assets. An irrevocable trust has many applications in the preservation of an estate. 

Irrevocable Trust Disadvantages

When it comes to irrevocable Trust disadvantages, you will want to match it up with the Advantages of an irrevocable trust as well. Like all things, there are disadvantages, but let’s review them to see if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of a Trust.

Pros and Cons of Irrevocable Trust

Reviewing the discussions upon the disadvantages of an irrevocable trust, we need to look at it from the perspective of the people who are part of a Trust. The people who are part of the Trust are the following: Trustor, Trustee, Beneficiary, and Heir.

So, if one were to state the primary disadvantage of an irrevocable trust is that once the assets are added into the Trust, the Trustor/Grantor no longer has access to the estate. Now, like anything else, you can build in measures to retrieve the assets should wrongdoing, lack of funds in the estate, etc., would take place. The objective to set up an irrevocable trust, in which they are many types, is that the assets are no longer in the Trustor/Grantor’s name. So the disadvantage of an irrevocable trust is why people choose to have this type of Trust vehicle.

Now, if you have stock or a business that is achieving up and above its financial projections, you will be in a higher tax bracket. A higher tax bracket can hurt you in the long run, and it may behoove you to study what type of irrevocable Trust you can leverage to your advantage.

So again, lowering your tax liability is the advantage!  

So, the list below are some more disadvantages of an irrevocable trust:

  • Loss of Control over Assets
  • Inflexible as opposed to a Revocable Trust
  • Unforeseen circumstances
  • IRS rules state if you die within three years, assets transfer back to the estate.
  • Extra complications: If the Trust earns more than 600.00 in income in a tax year, the Trustee must file and pay federal income taxes at the Trust’s tax rate.
  • An Irrevocable Trust is a separate tax entity, so, therefore, check your state to see if you are obligated to file a gift tax return with the IRS.

Now don’t let the “perceived” cons of an irrevocable Trust persuade you not to use this type of estate planning vehicle. Consult with your estate planning attorney who practices on Irrevocable Trusts and the kind in which you need.  

Can an irrevocable trust ever be changed?

Now, there are special circumstances that an irrevocable trust can be changed but calls for a trust lawyer to help in the following:

  •  Everyone who is listed in the trust, i.e., beneficiaries, heirs, etc. must unanimously consent to the trust being modified or terminated. Under California Probate Code section 15404(a), if all of a trust’s settlors and beneficiaries unanimously approved amendment or termination of the trust, they can do it without court approval.
  •  If no unanimous consent from the beneficiaries, a trustee may ask the court to modify or terminate if the continuation of the trust would defeat or impair the spirit in which the trust was established. A petition to the court to modify or terminate an irrevocable trust under the “changed circumstances doctrine”.

 If you live in California, our Orange County Trust Attorney firm will assist in the needed documentation. Just one note, however, if there is no unanimous decision, the probate court will have the final say.

What are the Beneficiary Right in California on Irrevocable Trusts

California Probate Code §16060 protects the Beneficiary rights in California on irrevocable trusts. It states the trustee has a duty to keep the beneficiaries reasonably informed of the status of the probate process, and the beneficiary can enforce their rights by filing a probate court petition.

What are some examples in which an irrevocable trust has been modified and/or terminated?

First, the irrevocable trust must be drafted with certain provisions that allow for modifications under special circumstances.

Some scenarios are listed below:

  1.   When the principal has become too low to support the administration.
  2.   When a change in tax laws becomes necessary.
  3.   Charity named as the beneficiary has changed its structure
  4.   And many others.

Our advice, please contact one of our Orange County Estate Planning Attorneys.  We are open to assist you with a free second opinion review of your case.

Are irrevocable trusts public record in California?

In California, if a trust does not hold real estate property, then all assets held in the name of the trust are kept private.

If however, once a record of a real estate transfer is made, all the details of the deal, i.e., the price, transfer dates, etc., become public records and are recorded with the county clerk.

Should you have any questions regarding an irrevocable trust, feel free to call Hess-Verdon & Associates.

Irrevocable Trust Disadvantages Versus The Advantages!

Trust Types

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