How to Rename an Irrevocable Trust?

An irrevocable trust is one that can't be changed once it's created by its grantor and a trustee has been named. From that point, the trustee has total control over the assets and operation of the trust. Another type of trust, revocable, does allow the grantor to make changes during his or her lifetime. Either type provides for distribution of assets to the trust beneficiaries without a court probate and usually without any estate tax burden.

Step 1

Read the trust agreement carefully and check state trust laws. Look for any provisions that deal with changing the name or conditions of a trust. Follow any guidelines specifically with such details as notification of parties to the trust, changing documents on trust assets and so on. File the renamed trust agreement with the appropriate authority specified in the state law for creating a trust once you've followed the trust specifications and state laws.

Step 2

Contact the trustee and all beneficiaries for approval to change the name, if the trust agreement itself does not contain provisions for changes. Get approval in writing from the trustee, all beneficiaries and any other interested parties and have them sign a new trust agreement under the new name, specifying and agreeing to the new name.

Step 3

Consult a lawyer and ask an appropriate state court to order a name change if you cannot contact or get approval from the trustee and all beneficiaries. Justify the name change for the court and explain why consent could not be obtained from the trustee and beneficiaries. Include copies of the existing trust agreement and the revision, which should be the same except for the name.

Step 4

Convert all paperwork for trust assets and operations to the new name. Include personal property like cars as well as real estate, financial accounts, business interests and operations — everything which the trust owns or manages.

About the Author

Bob Haring has been a news writer and editor for more than 50 years, mostly with the Associated Press and then as executive editor of the Tulsa, Okla. "World." Since retiring he has written freelance stories and a weekly computer security column. Haring holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri.