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estate planning and elder law

Revocable or an Irrevocable Trust

Deciding When to Take Social Security Benefits
There are two main kinds of trusts: revocable and irrevocable.

Many seniors planning for the future may want to place their home in a trust for their children. This is especially true if the house is paid off, and free and clear of a mortgage. Beck, Lenox & Stolzer Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC, LLC, asks you, ‘Which do you think would be better, a revocable or an irrevocable trust?”

In the above scenario, what would happen if the home were placed in a trust and you as the owner then decides to sell it?’s recent article entitled “Can I sell my house after I put it in a trust?” explains that of the two primary types of trusts, revocable and irrevocable, in this situation, placing the home in a revocable trust may be a wise option.

Revocable Trusts

The assets in a revocable trust avoid probate but stay in the grantor’s control. That means you can always change the terms of the trust or terminate the trust. With a revocable trust, the terms can be altered or canceled dependent on the grantor (also known as the trustmaker, settlor, or trustor) of the trust.

During the life of the trust, income earned is given to the grantor, and only after death does property transfer to the beneficiaries.

A grantor can be the trustee. In that way, the grantor is still able to live in the home and sell it and dispose of it as they want upon death.

Assets in a revocable trust are available to creditors and are subject to estate taxes upon death.

Irrevocable Trusts

In contrast, an irrevocable trust cannot be changed or altered once it is established. In fact, the trust itself becomes a legal entity that owns the assets placed in it.

Because the grantor no longer controls those assets, there are certain tax advantages and creditor protections. There are also restrictions due to the loss of control.

An irrevocable trust is best used for transferring high-value assets that could cause gift or estate tax issues in the future.  Beck, Lenox & Stolzer often uses irrevocable trusts for asset protection purposes, including when a client needs nursing home care and wants to qualify for Medicaid benefits.

Trust are very complicated, so in any situation consult with an experienced estate planning attorney like the ones at Beck, Lenox & Stolzer about whether to use a trust and to make certain that you create the best trust for your specific situation.

Reference: (Feb. 25, 2022) “Can I sell my house after I put it in a trust?”


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