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Revocable trusts may be amended while the trust's creator(s) is living.
Irrevocable trusts may not be amended after the trust's creation. Revocable trusts often become irrevocable after the trust's creator passes.
Living trusts come in several different forms: an A trust, an A-Disclaimer Trust or Bypass Trust, an A-B Trust and an A-B-C Trust. Using the box analogy for a trust, an A Trust is just one box (one trust). An A-B Trust is a box split into two boxes (two trusts). An A-Disclaimer or Bypass Trust starts as an A-Trust and has the option of splitting into an A-B trust.
Depending on your needs, there are a variety of estate planning tools. Many of these advanced planning tools are for reducing exposure to estate taxes. Types of trusts that might be discussed include:
Charitbale Remainder Trusts
Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts (CRAT)
Charitable Remainder Unitrust
Credit Shelter Trusts
Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs)
Generation Skipping Trusts
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT)
Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT)
Be sure to work with an attorney that helps you understand fully what you are doing. Many of these trusts take away control of the asset during the grantor's lifetime (for the trade-off of reduced estate taxes). If you are uncertain about what is being proposed, get a second opinion from another attorney. You tax, financial and insurance advisors may be able to help you understand your options and what an attorney is proposing to do.
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