Irrevocable Trust Requirements

by Erika Johansen ; Updated July 27, 2017
The creator of an irrevocable trust must intend the trust to continue.

An irrevocable trust has all the requirements of a revocable trust and requires language that shows intent of irrevocability. As many different types of irrevocable trusts exist, those considering creating a trust should consult an estate attorney.

Private Trust Requirements

Any private trust has several legal elements. The trust must have a "res," or property that will fund the trust. The trust also requires three parties, although one individual may fulfill multiple roles: a creator, or "settlor," of the trust, a trustee, who will manage and administer the assets in the trust, and a beneficiary, who receives benefits and distributions from the trust. The trust must be placed in writing and signed by the settlor.

Irrevocability

Unlike a revocable trust, which allows the settlor to revoke the trust at any time before his death, an irrevocable trust generally cannot be revoked unless all parties to the trust agree to revocation. However, upon the settlor's death, the trust becomes truly irrevocable.

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Intent

In many jurisdictions, trusts with no language to the contrary are considered irrevocable by default. However, some states require explicit language in the trust that shows that the settlor intended the trust to continue indefinitely without modification.

References

About the Author

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.

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