By the basic meaning of its title, it would seem that an irrevocable trust cannot be revoked. However, in Louisiana, a battle is waging over whether or not that is always true.
Tom Benson is believed to control the largest fortune in the state of Louisiana. In 2009, he signed a succession plan that would leave the fortune in the hands of his daughter and grandchildren after Benson passes away. However, Benson has since become estranged from those relatives. Recently, he announced that he was changing his succession plan to leave everything to his wife of 10 years.
WDSU has more details on this story in “Fight over Louisiana’s largest fortune continues.”
This case will turn on the exact wording of the original trust documents.
If the daughter and grandchildren are already vested beneficiaries of an irrevocable trust, then it will be extremely difficult to change the trust to exclude them. This is one of the reasons that many people prefer revocable trusts. However, there are tax trade-offs to be made with the different trusts.
As you can see from this example, it is essential that you have the advice and expertise of an experienced trust attorney when creating your trust.
Please contact our office today at 239-225-7911 to schedule an appointment with Barbara M. Pizzolato if you are interested in protecting your legacy and need to create or update your estate plan. You may also wish to attend one of our free seminars.
Reference: WDSU News (January 23, 2015) “Fight over Louisiana’s largest fortune continues”