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In the United States, there are various types of trusts you can create, all of which are either revocable or irrevocable. In comparison to revocable trusts, an irrevocable living trust is much more effective for eliminating your estate tax burden, in avoiding delays of asset distributions in probate courts and for Medicaid planning. Revocable As the names imply, revocable trusts allow you to change your mind and alter the terms of the trust, or even cancel it, at any time. In contrast, the transfer of assets to an irrevocable trust is permanent and irreversible.
The terms of an irrevocable trust can only be modified by a state court that has jurisdiction over the trust. Estate Tax Implications Irrevocable trusts are a useful tool in estate planning when a main objective of creating the trust is to minimize the estate tax liability on the value of all assets. The federal estate tax rules only impose a tax if you own the assets at the time of your death. Avoiding Probate All trusts, including irrevocable living trusts, bypass probate — court oversight of the distribution of your assets at death — since state probate courts don’t have jurisdiction over trust assets as they do with property left in a will. When you create an irrevocable living trust, it’s no longer necessary to draft a will to provide instructions on which beneficiaries will receive your estate. Medicaid Planning One of the principal eligibility requirements to receiving Medicaid assistance is that you first deplete all of your assets to pay for your own medical expenses.