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Repairing a broken trust that has outgrown its usefulness

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2021 | Trusts |

A trust can be a very valuable part of an estate plan. The control it gives you goes well beyond what you would get with a will. You can really make decisions about exactly how your assets can be used. For instance, a common example is leaving money to a young heir explicitly for use in paying college tuition, rather than simply putting the money into a will and hoping they spend it on education. 

That said, a trust can outgrow its usefulness, especially when based around age or some other condition that can easily be met in time. Repairing it is usually just a matter of updating it to work under the new circumstances. For instance, perhaps you wanted to set money aside for education, but your heir has now finished college and has no need for tuition money. 

What type of trust do you have?

It is important to note that revocable and irrevocable trusts are different. With revocable trusts, you can amend them or even just revoke the trust you have and set up a new one. Irrevocable trusts have to stand in many cases, as the whole benefit is that they can’t be altered, potentially moving money outside of your estate. 

That said, you can often craft the trust in a way that still makes it applicable. For instance, you could say that the money goes to tuition if your heir doesn’t have a college degree, but, if they have already finished college, then they should just be given the money directly to use as they see fit. 

When a trust isn’t working, take action

Whether you want to repair an old trust, revoke one entirely, or just set up new trusts that should work indefinitely, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney who understands your goals. Setting up a trust, modifying an old trust and litigating a trust can all be complex processes that have to be handled properly. 

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