Does an irrevocable trust mean it can never be re-written once the party dies?

Asked about 1 year ago - Denver, CO

My father had an attorney write an irrevocable trust appointing me as Trustee over my brother's home. In the Irrevocable Trust it clearly states that should my bother pass away the house goes to me. My brother has now appointed an attorney over his sub-trust and they notified me that I am no longer the Trustee. I pay my brother's house taxes and his home insurance. When my father had the Trust written, his attorney said that there was no way an irrevocable trust can be changed once he passed away.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Stephen Clark Harkess

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . All trusts become irrevocable once the settlor dies. You may want to review the trust with an attorney to understand your rights.

    You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or info@Harkess-Salter.com. Stephen Harkess is an attorney... more
  2. Christopher Daniel Leroi

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Harkess is correct. All trusts become irrevocable once someone dies. So, with the death of the grantor, then it can never be modified. I agree with Mr. Harkess to sit down with an attorney to review the trust with you and advise you of your rights. Most of the attorneys in the Denver area would offer either a free or discounted rate initial consultations, depending on the length of the meeting.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in... more
  3. Charles Adam Shultz

    Contributor Level 19

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to consult with a local attorney to see if your brother had a power to change the trustee under the terms of the trust. If he didnt, he cannot unilaterally do what he did. Consult an estate attorney to determine how to respond and proceed.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or... more
  4. John P Corrigan

    Contributor Level 19

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A couple points. An irrevocable can be changed through a court process called decanting. However, to accomplish this the beneficiaries and trustees would have to be in agreement and there must usually be a compelling reason to change the trust at the order of a judge. With that being said in response to your question. I think this issue lies with a clause in the trust agreement called a "power of appointment" which is a limited right to make changes to something.....even in an irrevocable trust....the IRS in fact issued pronouncements where it is permissible to do so.....one of those most common things is changes to a trustee.....as long as no benefit enuresis to the Grantor of the trust. So....cannot tell you for sure without actually seeing the trust agreement but is likely to be the valid reason fir the change instead of actually ignoring something that is not allowable under any circumstance.....the devil is in the details on this one.

    My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a... more

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