What Is An Irrevocable Trust, And What Are Its Advantages?


When you create a trust, you decide whether the trust will be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust can be changed or even dissolved by you at any time. An irrevocable trust, however, can never be changed. The assets you put into it must stay there. And the only way to change the trustee is for that person to die or agree to resign. Why, then, choose to make your trust irrevocable? For tax advantages and legal protection. An irrevocable trust pays income taxes on what its assets earn if undistributed to beneficiaries at some point and is beyond the reach of creditors and judgments. When a person dies, the trust property is not part of an estate and will not be subject to death taxes. Conversely, revocable trusts offer no tax benefits at all and may be reached by creditors to satisfy judgments. If you want lots of flexibility, poor tax consequences and no legal protection, make your trust revocable. But if you want good tax consequences and complete legal protection, you must forego flexibility and form an irrevocable trust instead.