Drafting Trust Deed With Joint Trustees
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An irrevocable trust is a trust in which the trustor has not retained the right to revoke or amend the trust. Perhaps the principal advantage of the irrevocable inter vivos trust lies in income and estate tax savings. The major drawback is that the trust is, in fact, irrevocable. Thus, a trustor without considerable other means must seriously consider whether by creating such a trust he or she is jeopardizing his or her own security. Considerable foresight is required in drafting irrevocable trust agreements, since later amendment is precluded.
Federal tax aspects of a Trust wholly or partly for the benefit of the Trustor should be analyzed in considering whether to create such a Trust and in preparing the instrument. The Trustor is ordinarily subject to taxation on Trust income that may be paid to the Trustor or for the Trustor's benefit, and subject to Estate taxation on Trust property in which the Trustor had a beneficial interest at the time of the Trustor's death. Thus, a Trustor is generally subject to taxation on Trust income that is, or may be without the consent of an adverse party, distributed to the Trustor or the Trustor's spouse, or accumulated for the Trustor or the Trustor's spouse, or used to pay premiums on the Trustor's or the Trustor's spouse's life insurance. For purposes of the federal Estate tax, the Trustor's gross Estate will include the value of Trust property respecting which the Trustor has retained for his or her life or any period not ascertainable without reference to the Trustor's death or for any period that does not in fact end before the Trustor's death, the possession or enjoyment of, or the right to, the income from the property.
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