How to Dissolve an Irrevocable Trust

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An irrevocable trust is an agreement that manages assets of the trustor, or creator of the trust, for the benefit of the trust's named beneficiaries. Unlike a revocable trust, an irrevocable trust doesn't contain a clause that allows the trustor to dissolve the trust at will. However, a trustor might be able to terminate an irrevocable trust by following state laws regarding dissolution. While laws vary by area, some general requirements must be met in most states.

Check state laws regarding the termination of an irrevocable trust. Some states allow dissolution with the consent of all beneficiaries and the trustor, for any reason, but other states also require proof that continuing the trust isn't necessary to achieve its intended purpose. Go to the official website for your state's legislature to find information on your state's laws.

Read More: Does an Irrevocable Trust Automatically Terminate Upon a Certain Date?

Contact the trust beneficiaries. Ask for consent from each beneficiary. Explain why you are terminating the trust, if necessary.

Gather proof, if possible, showing that dissolving the trust wouldn't prevent its original purpose from being fulfilled. For example, if the material purpose was to fund a child's education, the court may accept proof of payment for the education from another source.

Contact the court that handles trusts in your state, usually the probate court. You must petition the court to end the irrevocable trust. Petition formats vary by area, but you typically need the name of the trust, the creation date and state, its purpose, the names of all trustees, beneficiaries and trustors and a copy of the original trust agreement for attachment to the petition. Ask the court clerk for any other forms you must complete and file.

Obtain signed consent from each beneficiary, if required. Your beneficiaries will most likely have to attend a hearing, but the court might require signed consent forms prior to the hearing. Check with the court clerk for formatting instructions for the consent forms.

Complete any other forms the court requires. File all necessary forms and the petition. Bring the original trust agreement with you to the hearing.


  • In some states, the trustees distribute the property in the trust to the beneficiaries upon dissolution of the trust.


  • You may be able to dissolve the trust without the beneficiaries' consent, but the process is much more difficult. Contact a trust attorney for assistance if you can't get consent.

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