Irrevocable Trust Laws Explained | Phoenix Estate Planning
Hi, I’m Beth Cohn. I’m an attorney at Jaburg Wilk and I work in the area of estate planning.
What is an Irrevocable Trust
An irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be changed. Many times, people will use an irrevocable trust when they want to make gifts to their children or their grandchildren and they don’t want them to get the benefits from those trusts right away.
Amending Irrevocable Trusts in Arizona
There are a couple of options under Arizona law and one of them is having to go to court. We have a new set of statutes in Arizona, under our Arizona Trust Code, that give us guidelines of when we have to go to court in order to request court approval to make changes to irrevocable trusts. But there’s also some more flexibility that’s been given to trustees to make some changes if the provisions and the trusts allow it.
Provisions That Allow Changes to be Made
There’s a provision that’s called decanting and decanting is available for certain trusts. Usually, there’s something in that trust that someone doesn’t like. And what they do, literally, is they create a new trust and they pour those assets from the old trust into the new trust. So decanting is a technique that allows a trustee to make that decision and to transfer assets from the old broken trust to a new fixed trust. There’s some other requirements that are more technical, but it gives the trustee a lot of power if the trustee has certain discretion in the trust.
Do I Need an Attorney to Make a Trust
Well, I think there’s always a benefit. Unfortunately, I’ve seen some of the worst cases when people have grabbed forms and tried to do estate plans themselves. Whether the estate is smaller or larger, estate planning is very technical and there’s rules that we have to comply with. So I advise anybody who needs to have an estate plan done, to see an attorney.
By: Beth Cohn