Trust Modification

Often times, clients inquire if they may modify a trust which is irrevocable. The short answer to this question is maybe. Sometimes life circumstances change and the estate planning a person executed years ago is no longer the best means of achieving their estate planning goals.  This type of situation often arises when a person has created an irrevocable trust to reduce the obligation of their estate to pay Federal Estate tax.  In recent years, the laws pertaining to the valuation of a decedent’s gross estate and the calculation of Federal Estate tax have been substantially revised and in many cases, no Federal Estate Tax is required.  The need for an irrevocable trust as part of a person’s estate plan may no longer be present. 

Under the Florida Trust Code, an irrevocable trust may be modified upon the request of the Trustee or a qualified beneficiary by the Court and done so when the modification is not inconsistent with the grantor’s purpose.  The Court when deciding if an irrevocable Trust may be modified has discretion and looks to several factors when making its decision.  These factors include the terms and purposes of the trust, facts and circumstances surrounding the creation of the trust, and other extrinsic evidence relevant to the proposed modification.  The Florida Trust Code also contains other provisions which allow modification of a Trust using non-judicial settlement agreements.

In addition to tax planning, modification of an irrevocable trust may done for many other reasons.  The attorneys at Clarie Law Offices, P.A. are able to meet with you to review the options available under the Florida Trust Code to determine if amodification of your irrevocable trust is a good fit for you and also available to review the current law of the Federal estate tax requirements.

Contact us