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Irrevocable Trusts Attorney in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Estate planning is a great way to prepare for what happens to your stuff after you pass away and ensure your family and loved ones are taken care of. Within estate planning are trusts—special tools where you can put your money or property to decide who gets to use it and when, even after you're gone. 

One type of trust, called an irrevocable trust, is particularly important because once you set it up, you can't change it. It's like locking your money or property in a safe, ensuring it's protected and used according to your wishes. This type of trust can provide various benefits like safeguarding assets and reducing taxes, making it a crucial part of many estate plans. 

Types of Irrevocable Trusts 

Irrevocable trusts are not a one-size-fits-all tool; they come in various forms, tailor-made to address specific financial and personal goals. Understanding the array of options empowers estate planners to select the most suitable trust for their clients. Here are some common types: 

  • Charitable Trusts: Designed to reduce both income and estate taxes, charitable trusts entail the transfer of assets to a trust that eventually benefits a charitable cause. The grantor receives a tax deduction for the assets’ charitable contribution, and the trust's beneficiaries can enjoy reduced tax exposure. 

  • Asset Protection Trusts: Irrevocable trusts can be used to shield assets from creditors or provide long-term asset management, especially for beneficiaries with spendthrift tendencies or in high-liability professions. 

  • Special Needs Trusts: These trusts are indispensable for individuals with disabilities, safeguarding public benefits they are entitled to, while also providing for their supplemental needs without jeopardizing their eligibility for government support. 

  • Life Insurance Trusts: Often used to avoid the proceeds of life insurance policies from being subject to estate taxes, life insurance trusts allow the trust to own the policy, with the proceeds benefitting the trust’s beneficiaries, including reducing or eliminating income or estate tax. 

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Pros and Cons of Irrevocable Trusts 

While the benefits of irrevocable trusts are substantial, it’s essential to weigh them against any drawbacks to ensure the arrangement aligns with your overarching financial plan. 


  • Tax Efficiency: Irrevocable trusts can significantly reduce the grantor's estate tax liabilities, which can be a substantial benefit for high-net-worth individuals. 

  • Asset Protection: By placing assets in an irrevocable trust, the grantor can shield them from potential creditors, divorces, or lawsuits. 

  • Control and Direction: The trust enables the grantor to specify how and when the trust’s assets are distributed, offering a degree of control even after the assets are transferred. 

  • Probate Avoidance: Assets held in an irrevocable trust usually do not go through probate, expediting the distribution process and maintaining privacy. 


  • Loss of Control: Once the assets enter the irrevocable trust, the grantor relinquishes control and the right to change the terms of the trust. 

  • Complexity and Cost: Irrevocable trusts often require professional management and may entail higher administrative costs compared to other estate planning tools. 

  • Tax Implications: While irrevocable trusts can provide tax benefits, they might also incur income tax obligations based on the trust’s activities and earnings. 

  • Lack of Flexibility: Situational changes that would typically prompt a modification are not feasible with irrevocable trusts. 

Are Irrevocable Trusts Permanent? 

The term 'irrevocable' may bring to mind permanency and immutability, but these trusts are not always set in stone. Certain conditions—such as securing consent from all beneficiaries and the court—can pave the way for adjustments, albeit with considerable effort and potential tax ramifications.  

Making an Irrevocable Trust 

Establishing an irrevocable trust is a multi-faceted process that begins by clearly defining the trust's intent and goals with our team. Here are the primary steps in crafting an irrevocable trust: 

  • Selecting the Trustees: Trustees are the fiduciaries responsible for managing the trust’s assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. It is crucial to choose individuals or entities with the requisite expertise, discretion, and integrity. 

  • Deciding on Trust Terms: The trust’s terms outline critical aspects, including how and when assets are distributed, the degree of discretion afforded to the trustees, and provisions for unforeseen circumstances. 

  • Funding the Trust: Once established, the trust must be funded with assets. This can involve physically transferring property titles, changing account registrations, or designating the trust as a beneficiary on certain accounts or documents. 

  • Complying With Legal Formalities: Creating an irrevocable trust demands meticulous adherence to state laws governing trust formation and execution. Legal representation is almost always a necessity to ensure compliance and safeguard the trust’s validity. 

  • Ongoing Management and Compliance: Beyond the initial steps, the irrevocable trust becomes an ongoing entity that requires regular management, compliance with tax regulations, accounting, and communication with beneficiaries as stipulated by the trust documents. 

Irrevocable Trusts Attorney Serving Green Bay, Wisconsin

For Lewis & Van Sickle, LLC, situated in the community of Green Bay, Wisconsin, our commitment to assisting estate planners in navigating these legal challenges is unwavering. We pledge to deliver informed, empathetic, and resourceful legal guidance, ensuring each client's estate plan stands as a testament to their legacy. Contact us today to discover how our team can be an invaluable partner in your estate planning endeavors.