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Some trusts are not really irrevocable

During their lives, many Palm Beach residents create an estate plan that they can change and that will serve them. Part of those plans may include revocable trusts, which means they can be changed, and that become irrevocable, which means they cannot be changed, upon their deaths. Because the name implies that they cannot be changed, beneficiaries and heirs may not realize that the possibility exists.

The avenues available for revoking, terminating or canceling an irrevocable trust depend on a particular individual's status. Heirs are people that could legally inherit, but are not specifically identified in a trust or other estate-planning documents. Heirs cannot request a revocation of a trust unless they are also beneficiaries. Instead, an heir would contest a trust in much the same way that a will would be contested.

Beneficiaries to a trust do not have to be heirs. These individuals may revoke the trust, but only under certain conditions. A beneficiary may go to the court for revocation, but the reasons for doing so would need to be compelling if the other beneficiaries do not agree. However, with the consent of all beneficiaries, the necessary court appearance may go more smoothly.  

Like other estate-planning documents, trusts can be changed, modified or revoked during the lifetime of their creators if they structure them that way. After death, however, it becomes much more of a challenge to do so. Palm Beach beneficiaries and heirs who want to explore this option may benefit from discussing the situation with an experienced attorney before making a final decision.

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