Historically, the classic irrevocable trust was one that was inflexible and was normally managed by a single trustee. Nowadays, many New York residents are drafting trusts that are much more flexible and that may be managed and administered by several different parties.
In a modern irrevocable trust, the roles may be divided into that of a general trustee who is responsible for completing the traditional tasks of trust administration, such as filing taxes. There may also be an investment trustee who is responsible for investing the assets held in the trust. A modern trust may use a distribution committee, which may be formed of several fiduciaries who make disbursement decisions. Finally, a trust may also include a separate fiduciary who is able to replace the other trustees if such an action is needed.
Optimal trust planning for irrevocable trusts may also include several other provisions that help make the trust more flexible. One example is including a decanting provision, which allows an already existing trust to be modernized by pouring it into a new trust. A provision that allows the trust to relocate from a high-tax state to a lower-tax state may also be a good idea. Providing powers of appointment that allow future generations to designate how the trust assets will be distributed in their generations may also add a layer of flexibility.
Trust planning may be highly complex, but it can be done in a way to provide the greatest benefit to the beneficiaries of the grantor. People who are interested in learning about the different ways trusts may be able to help them may want to consult with an estate planning attorney who can recommend a series of different estate planning documents that may be used to meet the client's current and future needs and goals.