Irrevocable trusts may not be truly irrevocable; often, an agreement between the parties "in interest to" (involved in) an irrevocable trust can allow changes to and perhaps even revocation of the trust. Those with specific trust questions should consult an attorney.
Many jurisdictions find all trusts irrevocable as a default if they do not contain language that shows the creator's intent that the trust be revocable. Theoretically, once an irrevocable trust is created, no party can modify or revoke the trust, although the trust might end if the trustee sells all of its assets.
Revoking Irrevocable Trusts
Revocation of irrevocable trusts depends heavily on state law. Most jurisdictions have some sort of procedure by which the parties to a trust can agree to change or revoke the trust. Generally, both the trust's creator and any beneficiaries named in the trust document must agree in writing. However, some jurisdictions also require written agreement by the trustee.
All trusts become truly irrevocable upon the death of the trust's creator. Likewise, the abovementioned statutory mechanisms for revocation become inapplicable if any of the parties whose signature is required has died or become legally incapable of signing the document (usually due to mental incapacity).
- Mid-Hudson Law: "Revoking an Irrevocable Trust": Richard Shapiro
- "Wills, Trusts and Estates (Seventh Edition)"; Jesse Dukeminier, Robert H. Sitkoff, James M. Lindgren and Stanley M. Johanson; 2005
- The Money Alert: Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trusts
Erika Johansen is a lifelong writer with a Master of Fine Arts from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and editorial experience in scholastic publication. She has written articles for various websites.