A trust is a contract between the Grantor (the person who creates the trust), the Trustee (one who controls the trust), and the beneficiaries (those entitled to benefit from the trust). You, as Grantor, determine how the trust will be operated by the Trustee and who benefits, how and when.
While a Revocable Trust permits you to maintain full control (as Trustee) and have access to all your assets (as beneficiary), an Irrevocable Trust, once created, may prohibit your right to control certain parts of the trust.
It is a common misconception that irrevocable trusts, once created, cannot be changed. While that is true of many irrevocable trusts created to avoid taxes (tax reduction or avoidance trusts), it is not true of all irrevocable trusts. An irrevocable trust is a trust you create for the benefit of yourself or others and once created, you, as Grantor, must give up your right to “something.” A typical “income only” irrevocable trust permits you to receive the income on your assets, and maintain control of your assets until your mental disability or death (asset protection trusts). There are many irrevocable trusts available that are quite flexible and grantor-friendly. You should consult a qualified estate planning attorney to get counseled on all your options before creating an irrevocable trust.
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