May 22, 2023 | Ashley Boustany There are a few ways that trusts differ. One of the differences between a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust is the ability to make changes to them. If you are reading this then you may be looking into the process of deciding about a will or a trust. A good piece of advice is to work with an estate planning attorney throughout this process. While the laws that govern wills, trusts, and inheritance are fairly static – they can change. It is also important to understand that most estates are unique, and an estate planning attorney will help you find the best legal way to set up and manage your assets before and after your death. Here’s more on the difference between a revocable and irrevocable trust. Making Changes When you opt for a revocable trust, you retain the right to make changes to the trust almost anytime that you wish. The process involves a legal process, but you are the creator of the trust. Some reasons why people make changes to a revocable trust include: Changes to laws that govern inheritance Adding a property or asset to the trust Changing beneficiaries or inheritance amount Adding beneficiaries, such as when a new family member is born or if a beneficiary should pass away. Removing a property or asset from the trust If you opt for an irrevocable trust, you can sometimes make changes to them, but it may require a lot more effort. You would need to have court approval in most cases, and the agreement from beneficiaries. You might be wondering why someone would choose an irrevocable trust and the simple answer is that they help protect assets from many taxation laws. That is also why it is important to work with an estate planning attorney and a financial advisor. Control Over Assets With a revocable trust, you have control over your assets. With a revocable trust, you do not have full control over the assets inside the trust. In fact, the trust becomes the legal owner of those assets. The trust is created in such as way as to honor your wishes, but once the trust is created you lose control of the assets and the trust will work to manage those assets within the parameters of your directions when the trust was established. If you are looking to create a trust where you contain control and can easily make changes to the trust then a revocable trust is probably a good option for you. If your final wishes are likely not to change, then you might consider an irrevocable trust even though it is more complicated to make changes, it also can offer greater protection. What is important to understand is that every estate is different and what works well for one person may not work well for another. Working with an estate planning attorney means that a trust can be created that fits your estate while taking into consideration today’s laws and needs, and possibly updating it in the future should things change. Contact The Law Offices of Dan Kellogg For More Information On Trusts & Estate Planning The Law Offices of Dan Kellogg offers estate planning services to the greater Washington State community. They work with estates of all sizes and complexities. Learn more about your options for planning your estate by contacting their experienced team today.