In Elder Law News

We’re sorry to hear about the troubles that have led to your desire to make changes to an irrevocable trust. You may not be able to change anything unless your irrevocable trust includes a power of appointment.  

Power of Appointment  

A power of appointment would permit you to change the ultimate distribution, often through your will. If you can change the beneficiaries, you could provide that if any, such as your daughter, do not survive you, the funds will go to other individuals or charities that you value. 

Trust Decanting 

There is also another way to modify an irrevocable trust through trust decanting. It is a complex process that requires an estate planning attorney to create and combine a new trust. Depending on your situation, it may or may not make sense. Only half of the states permit the decanting of a trust, and it can be expensive. 

Harry S. Margolis practices elder law, estate, and special needs planning in Boston and Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the founder of and answers consumer questions about estate planning issues here and at

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