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Old Trusts - New Fixes


Old, obsolete trust plans can be updated. Utilizing Wisconsin's Trust Code, there are strategies and tools that can be used to modernize obsolete trust plans. Some estate plans have become obsolete because either laws or family circumstances have changed. For example, perfectly sound tax-driven plans when created may no longer be appropriate or necessary. Naturally, the simplest way to change or update a trust is to have the trust maker craft the changes. But what if the plan has outlived its usefulness and the original trust creator isn't alive or doesn't have that power (for example, it was established as an irrevocable trust), then what? There are several options to modernize these trusts under Wisconsin's Trust Code, including decanting (pouring assets of the old trust into a new trust), trust protector restatement, judicial modification, and non-judicial settlement agreement. The best approach will depend on the circumstances, the needs, and the applicable law. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, but the best place to start is with a discussion about the circumstances, needs, and goals of those seeking to change the trust. Even though there is no way to know for sure what to do until some analysis is complete, it’s better to have an informed choice rather than declining to act based upon the assumption that the plan cannot be changed. These are complex legal processes, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. But no matter how tangled the threads of old trusts or plans seem to be, we can ascertain the right way to smooth things out. Consult with us and let’s see how we can find a solution to outdated trusts and obsolete plans.

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William J. Chandek & Associates, LLC
333 Bishops Way, Suite 150 
Brookfield, Wisconsin 53005

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