Can You Change An Irrevocable Trust?

By Sid Werner

SWThe term “irrevocable” sounds pretty permanent, so many people assume once they’ve finalized an irrevocable trust there is no turning back. If you’re having second thoughts about your irrevocable trust, know that under the right circumstances changes are possible.

How Can You Change an Irrevocable Trust?

Whether you established an irrevocable trust from the outset or established a revocable living trust that becomes irrevocable upon your death, modification is possible through court intervention. As long as modification of the trust is consistent with your purpose in creating the trust, the trustee or a qualified beneficiary of the trust may petition the court for judicial modification of the trust.

What Changes Can the Court Order?

The court has authority to:

  • Change the terms of the trust;
  • Terminate the trust in whole or in part;
  • Permit the trustee to do acts that are not authorized or are prohibited under the trust instrument; or
  • Prohibit the trustee from doing acts that are permitted by the trust.

Given the court’s broad power, any modifications consistent with the trust’s purpose are a possibility and that process begins with the petition of a trustee or a qualified beneficiary.

Should you have any questions related to wills, trusts and estates, please call Englander Fischer at (727) 898-7210 to see how one of our attorneys can assist you.