The Purpose of an Irrevocable Living Trust

An irrevocable trust is used in rare circumstances.  Most trusts are revocable living trusts, you can change them.  Irrevocable trusts are special and not used as much because they are irrevocable, which means it is unchangeable. One of the most common irrevocable trusts is a life insurance trust.  It allows someone to take a life insurance policy, put it into the trust and keep the IRS from ever taxing the death benefits of that life insurance policy.  Without an irrevocable life insurance trust the death benefits from the life insurance policy are fully taxable for estate tax purposes.  Another common irrevocable trust is a charitable trust.  Most charitable trusts are set up to allow people to give money to charity, maybe get some income and tax benefits during their lifetime, but to leave money to charity after they die. But most charitable trusts that are set up are irrevocable.  The most common irrevocable living trust that we see is the Medicaid irrevocable trust.  This trust allows you to set up a trust, transfer the title to your assets into the trust, you can be the trustee of your trust, you can continue to receive the income from the assets in the trust, but if it is set up at the right time and in the right way, you can protect all of the assets in that trust from future nursing home expenses.