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Gevurtz Menashe

PDX 503.227.1515
WA 360.823.0410

Irrevocable Trusts

Estate Planning
Irrevocable trusts are created for many reasons. They can be designed to reduce estate or income taxes, offer creditor protection, or to encourage and instill in beneficiaries certain values or goals.  Many types of assets such as business interests, shares of stock, life insurance policies, real estate and other investments can be held in an irrevocable trust. 

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Irrevocable Trust attorneys

A trust is an agreement between a “settlor” (the creator of the trust) and a “trustee” (the person in charge of managing trust assets) to hold property for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries. Examples of common irrevocable trusts include irrevocable life insurance trusts and irrevocable family trusts. An irrevocable trust may be modified or terminated only in very limited circumstances. It is in this way that an irrevocable trust is differentiated from many other estate planning tools, such as revocable trusts and wills.

How Does It Work?

There are limited instances in which an irrevocable trust may be changed.  One involves the use of a trust protector. A trust protector is a third party, independent from either the settlor or trustee, who may be appointed to make changes to a trust based on specific circumstances (i.e., changes to the law or taxes that would require modification of the trust). Sometimes, beneficiaries of an irrevocable trust may be given a “power of appointment” over certain terms of the trust, and may make changes to benefit themselves or future beneficiaries. Lastly, an irrevocable trust can sometimes be modified by approval of a court. 

Settlor

The settlor is the person who establishes the trust. The settlor may also be known as the “trustor” or “grantor.” Once a settler has transferred assets or property into an irrevocable trust, the settler no longer has direct control over those assets. By giving up the power to control the assets, the settlor’s contribution of property to an irrevocable trust can have certain estate tax, income tax and asset protection benefits, depending on how the trust is structured.

Trustee

The trustee is responsible for maintaining and protecting the trust’s assets. Generally, this means holding the property until it is to be distributed to the beneficiaries according to the settlor’s wishes as stated in the trust agreement. The trustee is also responsible for filing tax returns for the trust, ensuring that trust assets are properly insured and deciding how trust assets should be invested.

Contact Gevurtz Menashe to set-up an Irrevocable Trust

Along with the many benefits they offer, irrevocable trusts have tax and legal implications that require proper planning. Our estate planning attorneys can help with the planning and maintenance of all types of irrevocable trusts. Call our Portland office at 503-227-1515, our Vancouver office at 360-823-0410 or contact us online for more information on irrevocable trusts.  

Call our Portland, OR offices at: 503-227-1515
and our Vancouver, WA office at 360-823-0410
or contact us to request a consultation.