Can you revoke or modify an irrevocable trust in New York? As life circumstances change, a trust may need to be changed or updated. But what happens if the trust is irrevocable? Does that mean that the trust can never be revoked or changed?
Most trusts have a work-around that allows them to be changed or modified, even if they are irrevocable. We would have to look at the language of the trust and other circumstances, but most irrevocable trusts have a way out that allows us to have them revoked.
Usually, we are able to either use one of the powers of the trustee to “decant” the trust, or transfer it to a different trust, or we are able to use consents of beneficiaries, trustees and grantors to modify the trust and resignations of trustees if a trustee needs to be changed.
If a trust does not have a way out, or one of the people involved does not agree to sign the consent to modify the trust, then the only way to modify the trust, if any, it through the court. An estate attorney can draft a petition explaining to the court the reasons why changes need to be made to the trust. If the person who is not agreeing to the modification submits an opposition to the trust modification. It is not easy to get the court to modify an irrevocable trust, especially if one of the people involved objects. It will be up to the judge to decide whether or not to grant the trust modification, based on the arguments presented by the respective estate lawyers.
If you need to modify or revoke an irrevocable trust, get in touch with us and we will review your situation and tell you if it is possible. Call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233, New York estate, guardianship, wills, trust, Medicaid and probate lawyer, and make an appointment to discuss the modification or revocation of a trust.