Irrevocable Trusts and Probate

Trusts are typically utilized as part of an estate plan. Trusts use various benefits to the beneficiaries of a decedent upon death such as avoidance of probate as well as possibly avoiding payment of estate taxes. Benefits to the decedent include the ability to manage how the trust properties are used even after death.

A trust can be either an inter vivos trust or a testamentary trust. An inter vivos trust indicates the trust ended up being active during the life time of the grantor while a testamentary trust does not trigger until the death of the grantor. In addition, a trust may be revocable or irrevocable. An irrevocable trust uses appealing advantages for anybody worried about estate planning problems such as probate and estate taxes.
As implied by the name, an irrevocable trust can not be modified or ended except under certain particular circumstances. While a revocable trust can typically be customized or terminated at any time by the grantor, an irreversible trust is not so easy to alter or terminate. State laws govern trusts; nevertheless, in most statesman irrevocable trust can only be modified by arrangement of all beneficiaries and the grantor, if still alive, or by a court. Due to the fact that of the irrevocable nature of these trusts, possessions put in the trust are considered to be trust property from the moment of development of the trust. This element of an irrevocable trust provides 2 essential benefits– avoidance of probate and avoidance of estate taxes.

Only assets that are owned by the decedent at the time of death belong to the decedent’s estate. In case the decedent’s estate is required to go through probate, all properties owned by the decedent are held up till the probate procedure is completed. Probate can take months, or even years in many cases, to complete. Assets put in a revocable or an irrevocable trust can pass straight to the recipients upon the death of the grantor, thus avoiding probate. In addition, since the properties put in an irrevocable trust are no longer considered to be owned by the grantor, and are not part of the estate at the time of death, they are likewise exempt to estate taxes (unless the grantor is entitled to enjoy the income there from or usage of the possessions during life, and unless it was transferred within 3 years of death). The estate tax rate goes through alter, but is generally high, making an irrevocable trust a financially sound alternative as part of an estate plan.