What is an irrevocable trust in estate planning?

Depending on the benefits that you consider priorities, you may choose from a number of different trusts when creating your own individual estate plan. For some, estate planning is about creating protections while maintaining as much flexibility and control of assets as possible. For others, estate planning is primarily intended to offer the widest protections possible, even if it is at the expense of control over those assets.

One of the most commonly used trusts for those who wish for stronger protections is an irrevocable trust. Irrevocable trusts generally allow those who use them to enjoy a large range of protections, but require that the creator of the trust give up most of his or her control of the underlying assets once they are used to fund the trust.

While this is not always the best fit for everyone, an irrevocable trust is a vital tool for estate planners who wish to help clients enjoy the greatest number of protections. With careful planning and execution, an irrevocable trust can keep assets more closely protected, especially from the claims of outside creditors.

In order to fully enjoy an irrevocable trust’s protections, you must carefully plan how you will use the trust before establishing it. Failing to plan carefully may create very serious setbacks if you realize later on that you should have crafted the terms of the trust more carefully. An experienced attorney can help you craft and execute the terms of your irrevocable trust, creating lasting protections for those you love and ensuring that your wishes remain secure.

Source: Findlaw, “Types of Trusts,” accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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