The term “irrevocable” typically means that something is unable to be revoked. When an individual creates an irrevocable trust, they do so with the intent that once it is created, it cannot be terminated. But does that mean it cannot be modified? Not necessarily.

Some irrevocable trusts allow for their modification upon the settlor’s death under specific and limited circumstances. At the Law Offices of Dan Kellogg, our estate planning attorneys can help you navigate the many rules and stipulations surrounding trusts, and determine the best estate planning documents for your needs.

When Can An Irrevocable Trust Be Modified?

Typically, when a settlor creates an irrevocable trust, they include provisions that allow for the following:

  • Modification when petitioned to do so by the trustee and/or beneficiaries: Sometimes, a settlor’s circumstances change so much that the administration of an irrevocable trust becomes unreasonably expensive. Other times, the purpose of the trust is outdated. In either of these instances, the trustee and/or beneficiaries may petition for the trust to be modified or even terminated completely.
  • Modification Via a Trust Protector: Some individuals appoint a “trust protector” when drafting their irrevocable trust. A trust protector is an individual that is hired to examine the facts and circumstances surrounding a desired change, and that makes the final determination based on the evidence.
  • “Power of Appointment”: In some instances, the settlor will include a provision that allows the trustee or the beneficiaries to exercise a “power of appointment,” which basically means that the trust can be changed for the benefit of current or future beneficiaries.
  • Disposition of Trust Property: Finally, if all else fails, the beneficiaries may sell or dispose of all of the trust’s property so that the trust, while not effectively “terminated,” will serve no real purpose.

Consult a Renton Estate Planning Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Dan Kellogg, we understand that trusts can be difficult to deal with—both on the creation end and the administration end. Irrevocable living trusts are even more difficult to manage. If you are the trustee or beneficiary of an irrevocable trust that you would like modified or terminated, contact Dan Kellogg, our Renton trusts attorney, to learn more specifics on Washington’s laws regarding irrevocable trusts.