How to Revoke an Irrevocable Trust

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Irrevocable trusts offer unparalleled tax benefits and allow your heirs to avoid probate so that, after you die, your property won't have to go through the courts before they can take possession of it. The downside to irrevocable trusts is that, legally, you are not supposed to take the items out of trust for the rest of your life. This means that you can't get any of the benefits of ownership for the assets you've placed in trust. If your situation has changed and you need to resume ownership of your assets, there are several ways to invalidate your irrevocable trust and either keep your property or create a new trust.

Alert your lawyer, your trustee, and all your beneficiaries of your desire to change the trust.

Ask your lawyer how to prove that you're revoking the trust with the consent of all parties. They may have to sign a document that dissolves the trust or write letters stating that they support the trust's being revoked. The procedure depends on your state.

Prove that it is in the best interests of everyone involved to have the trust changed. You may have to show that the trustee is acting against the terms of the trust or that one of the beneficiaries has been incapacitated. Your lawyer can advise you on proving the need for a change.

Create a new trust. In some states, this allows you to circumvent the terms of the old trust, as long as everyone receiving current income from the trust continues receiving his income---like alimony payments, for example.

Sell the items in trust to a new trust. You can do this with life-insurance policies or interest you have in businesses, as long as you don't have the controlling interest. Your lawyer can help you set up the new trust and sell the assets from the old trust into the new one.


About the Author

Melly Parker has been writing since 2007, focusing on health, business, technology and home improvement. She has also worked as a teacher and a bioassay laboratory technician. Parker now serves as a marketing specialist at one of the largest mobile app developers in the world. She holds a Master of Science in English.

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