Revocable vs IrrevocableCompare Revocable vs Irrevocable Trust Options

Living trusts are legal documents that you create while you are alive. You use these documents to place your assets into the trust. You do this so that after you pass away your assets are transferred to your designated beneficiaries. The two main types of trusts are revocable and irrevocable. We will break down each of these so that you can make an informed decision in regards to which type of trust will work best for you.

Revocable Trusts

Revocable trusts are just that, revocable. After you create a revocable living trust you can make changes to it as often as you like. You can change anything from the beneficiaries to the trustees, to what accounts and properties the trust holds. You retain complete control over all assets placed into the trust. This means that you can buy, sell, lease, or mortgage all property that is placed in the trust and you can withdraw money from, close, or open any banks accounts or investment accounts that you have placed in the trust.

Unfortunately, with this level of flexibility comes a lack of protection. Though revocable living trusts will help you to avoid probate, it will not give you protection from creditors or prevent you from having to pay taxes. However, revocable trusts will provide a sufficient amount of protection from most people that do not have extremely large estates or unusual circumstances.

Irrevocable Trust

Irrevocable trusts are the complete opposite of revocable trusts. Once you create an irrevocable trust you cannot change any of the provisions of the trust without the consent of everyone named in the trust. This would include all the named beneficiaries and trustees. You also lose control of any assets that you put into the trust. Though you give up almost all of your control with an irrevocable living trust you will be compensated with a lot of protection. An irrevocable trust can protect your assets from creditors and help reduce your taxes. Another bonus is that any money or assets that are in irrevocable trusts when you pass are not included in the accounting of your estate taxes. Irrevocable trusts also tend to be a great deal more expensive than revocable trusts due to the fact that they are far more complex.


There are benefits and problems with each kind of trust. Now that you understand generally how each trust works, you can analyze your situation to see what kind of trust would work best for your circumstances and your price range. After that you can decide, considering the complexity of your case if you need to employ a lawyer, or you can save money and meet with a Certified Legal Document Preparer.