Do all trustees have to agree before the trust can be revoked?

A fellow caregiver asked...

If a revocable family trust has two primary trustees, can either trustee revoke the trust or do both trustees have to agree before the trust can be revoked?

Expert Answer

Whether both primary trustees can revoke a living trust, or it can be revoked by one of those trustees depends on the term of the trust document. Any properly drafted revocable trust contains provisions regarding revocation. You need to read your trust document to see what it provides regarding revocation.

The revocable living trusts I prepare for couples all specify that the trust can be revoked by either one of the to trust creators. However, these trusts also require that both trust creators agree to any trust amendment. The reason for this is that if one member of the couple wants out of the trust (and probably out of the relationship as well), it's not wise to allow the other member the power to require that the trust remain effective. Once the trust is revoked, the couple's situation returns to whatever the status quo was before the trust was created. By contrast, if one person could amend the trust, he or she might create distribution or other provisions that were not right, and not what the other member desired. In other words, an amendment by one person could be used to (secretly) change the property rights of the other person, which is obviously undesireable.