Since the terms of irrevocable trusts are designed to be permanent, these arrangements can be difficult to break. However, there may be instances when such a trust is no longer beneficial for a Louisiana estate owner or their heirs.
Some states have been adopting new laws that allow people to change an irrevocable trust. To be more specific, 25 states now allow broken trusts to be amended through what's known as decanting statutes. These allow the creator to take assets out of an old trust and pour them into a new and revised trust. This could correct provisions that might have been unfavorable. That being said, decanting statutes can differ from state to state, and some states can be more restrictive than others (Louisiana currently does not have any decanting statutes). Therefore, it is recommended that a creator move the trust situs to a state that offers flexible decanting statutes.
However, people might have other reasons to decant a trust. For instance, some may wish to extend the terms of a trust, especially if it contains large assets that the creator would like to last for several generations. On the other hand, other trust creators could wish to change the trust's distributions and make them discretionary instead of mandatory. Someone might even just find it more efficient to combine trusts together.
Regardless of the reason, decanting a trust can be a useful tool. Since it's a relatively new process, people are still exploring what can be done with it. If an estate planner would like to learn more about decanting, they may stand to gain from reaching out to an estate planning attorney who can help them identify opportunities made possible by these new statutes.