A lot of people ask whether I am an Irrevocable Trust Lawyer. The answer is “Yes.” Irrevocable trusts are one of the many tools I commonly used to protect assets and pass wealth from one generation to the next while minimizing estate taxes. As an irrevocable trust lawyer, it’s my job and mission to make sure that your planning, protection, and wealth transfer objectives are met.
What is an Irrevocable Trust?
An irrevocable trust is a legal agreement involving the management and distribution of assets. The terms of the agreement are drafted by an irrevocable trust lawyer. The terms specify the rights of the parties. The parties to trust agreements are as follows:
- Settlor – This is the creator of the irrevocable trust and the person who contributes assets to the trust.
- Trustee(s) – This is the party charged with managing and distributing the assets contributed to the irrevocable trust.
- Beneficiary(s) – One or more people who are intended to benefit from and/or have use of trust assets.
Trusts agreements can be simple or they can be very complex, depending on a settlor’s goals and the value of assets he or she intends to contribute to an irrevocable trust. A good irrevocable trust attorney can even help establish trusts where the settlor is also the trustee and/or the beneficiary of the trust. These are called self-settled trusts. Not all jurisdictions recognize self-settled trusts for asset protection purposes, so make sure your irrevocable trust lawyer explains the “fine print” and that you’re getting what you want and need.
What Can Be Accomplished With an Irrevocable Trust
Irrevocable trust lawyers have long used these tools to protect assets from the claims of creditors and as part of estate planning. In effect, an irrevocable trust can be the primary tool used to pass wealth from one generation to the next while minimizing estate taxes and protecting assets from creditors of future generations. In other words, trusts can be used to pass on wealth and, at the same time, protect that wealth from future claims against you, your children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren.
Are Irrevocable Trusts Permanent?
The first thing that most people want to know about irrevocable trusts is whether or not they can be “undone.” The technical answer is no. Irrevocable trusts are, by their nature, irrevocable. They can’t be cancelled or revoked. However, a smart irrevocable trust lawyer can help you maintain the legal ability to effectively reverse an irrevocable trust.
Make Sure Your Irrevocable Trust Lawyer Plans Ahead
By planning ahead, an irrevocable trust attorney can help you preserve the right to distribute assets out of an irrevocable trust, even to the complete exhaustion of trust assets. That can be arranged even if you are the creator, trustee, and beneficiary of your irrevocable trust (i.e. even if you have a self-settled irrevocable trust). Even though irrevocable trusts are designed to exist permanently, the reality is that once a trust is completely drained of assets, it no longer has any legal significance. In fact, once a trust is completely emptied, its existence ends in the eyes of the law.
This is how clever irrevocable trust lawyers create strong asset protection and estate plans but allow clients to maintain and control and flexibility at the same time.
If you have questions about irrevocable trusts or if you would like to find out how you can create an irrevocable trust, please call me today at (850) 803-1166.