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Why might someone revoke a trust?

Past posts on this New Jersey legal blog have discussed the different types of trusts that a party may use in order to protect his wealth, avoid probate and provide inheritances for those that he loves. Irrevocable trusts are those that cannot be changed or destroyed once made. Revocable trusts are subject to the will of the trust creators and can be changed, modified, or even cancelled if deemed appropriate by the makers of the trusts.

There are more reasons than can be discussed in one blog post as to why a trust may be revoked. For example, the beneficiary of the trust may predecease the trustmaker and the revocable trust may not stipulate a back-up beneficiary. In such cases the revocable trust may be terminated completely.

Fighting and disagreements can also lead to revocable trusts being changed or terminated. Just as a will maker may choose to later write out someone included in his original testamentary document, so too may a trustmaker with regard to his previously drafted revocable trust. The maker of a trust may exclude one trust beneficiary, multiple beneficiaries or simply choose to cancel a trust based on disagreements or confrontation.

Finally, the maker of the trust may find that he has a new plan for the property contained in the revocable trust and as such he may decide to end the trust to remove the property for the other purpose. Since trusts hold property for the benefit of others, they may be changed or ended based on whether any property exists within them.

The prior paragraphs touch on only three of the many reasons a party may want to change or terminate a revocable trust. The ability to make such modifications is the benefit of creating a revocable tool. However, to ensure that they have properly changed or ended their revocable trusts, some trustmakers allow legal professionals to help them redraft or terminate their previously made trusts.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Trusts," Accessed April 23, 2015

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