In last week’s blog, we offered information about Trusts Generally and Revocable Living Trusts and how they can be used as part of an estate plan to achieve certain goals, such as managing assets while the trustmaker is still living and sparing loved ones the hassle and cost of probate court proceedings to distribute property after the trustmaker’s death.  This week we address irrevocable trusts, which serve different purposes than revocable trusts.

There are various types of irrevocable trusts, each of which achieves specific goals. In elder law, irrevocable trusts are typically used to assist an individual in qualifying for public benefits, such as Medicaid, TennCare, SSI, or VA Aid and Attendance.  These trusts include special needs trusts, qualified income or “Miller” trusts, and asset protection trusts.  Irrevocable trusts allow the trustmaker to preserve funds for his or her own care or to pass a legacy to their loved ones. Below are the irrevocable trusts commonly used in planning for public benefits.