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Breaking an irrevocable trust

Ely, MN |

Can an irrevocable trust be broken?

Attorney Answers 1


If you mean can it be amended, the answer is probably "yes." You probably have a couple of options on that front. First, would be to look at what the trust document itself says. Second, see a local estate planning attorney about either filing a Petition for Instructions with the court, or seeing if Minnesota case law or statutes allow for this. (I used to practice in Minnesota, but I never ran into this issue.)

If you mean can you get a distribution from the trust, the answer is "maybe." It depends on what the trust says, and what you want to use the money for.

If you mean that you are a beneficiary and you want to get your complete share distributed to you (by winding up the trust), the answer is a less certain "maybe." You need to give the trust document to an estate planning attorney to review. This is definitely not something a non-lawyer (or even an inexperienced estate planning attorney) will know how to do. It really depends on a lot of factors: what are the assets held in the trust worth? Do all the other beneficiaries and trustees agree to dissolve the trust? What was the original reason for having the irrevocable trust set up in the first place?

I do this type of thing in Arizona. I am currently dividing a joint irrevocable trust (that another attorney had prepared) into a more traditional his and hers set of irrevocable life insurance trusts. I also recently changed trustees on an irrevocable trust. Those are easier situations than dissolving a trust. I could find someone in Minnesota to help you if you still need help.

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