How Irrevocable and Revocable Living Trusts Differ

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What is the difference between a revocable living trust and an irrevocable living trust?

How Irrevocable and Revocable Living Trusts Differ

Living trusts can be established so that they are revocable or irrevocable. When either type of living trust documents are created, assets are transferred from an individual's name, referred to as the grantor, to the trust. The grantor no longer owns the assets once this happens; instead title lies with the trust. When an individual creates a living trust, the grantor names an individual to serve as trustee over the trust. The trustee can be the grantor him or herself, or another individual.

With a revocable living trust, the grantor has the right to invalidate the trust at any time. When a grantor exercises this right, title to the property of the trust is returned to his or her name. Grantors of revocable trust may choose to alter the terms and provisions of the trust at any time.

An irrevocable living trust is one that cannot be revoked. Once assets are transferred to a an irrevocable living trust, the grantor gives up the rights to take back the assets and to alter any of the stipulated terms or provisions. These types of trusts are often used to set up educational trust funds for minors. They can also be utilized for property settlements resulting from a divorce or other legal action.



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