7 Tips For Selling a House in an Irrevocable Trust

Irrevocable Trust

You’re ready to sell your house in chesapeake, but there’s one small detail: It’s held in an irrevocable trust. You may be wondering how this will affect the process of listing and selling the property or if it’s even possible to sell at all. However, having assets in an irrevocable trust can complicate a situation, but not impossible.

This blog will navigate the complexities of selling a house in an irrevocable trust and the steps to take for a smooth and hassle-free experience. 

What is an irrevocable trust?

An irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be modified, amended, or dissolved by the settlor once it comes into existence. Real estate investors define an irrevocable trust as a legal arrangement in which the trustee cannot change the trust. Irrevocable trusts are mainly used for tax or estate planning purposes, such as avoiding probate and reducing the size of an individual’s taxable estate.

Suppose the property is held in an irrevocable trust. In that case, the grantor or seller does not have the option to make changes to the trust agreement without the consent of the beneficiaries. 

Parties involved in an irrevocable trust


The individual who establishes the trust and places their assets within it. Upon creating the irrevocable trust, the settlor gives up any direct claim to ownership that they once had over the assets.


The individual or corporation appointed to manage the trust. The trustees are authorized to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries.


The individual whom the settlor has chosen to receive the assets is placed in trust. There can be one or more beneficiaries.

Types of Irrevocable Trusts

Living irrevocable trust

A living irrevocable trust is irrevocable, both while its settlor is alive and after they pass. Upon the settlor’s death, the trustee settles all debts in the trust and distributes the assets to the beneficiaries as instructed.

The settlor, by relinquishing ownership rights over the assets, can gain various tax advantages. This action, however, carries the dangers of irrevocable trust. Upon the settlor’s passing, the responsibility falls on the trustee to settle any remaining debts and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms specified in the trust agreement.

Trust that is irrevocable upon death

Selling a house in an irrevocable trust after death involves a trust that can be altered or rescinded by the creator while they are alive. However, upon their death, the trust transitions into an irrevocable state. This change allows the person who established the trust to retain control over it throughout their lifetime.

At this point, their assets are protected from creditors and can quickly be distributed to beneficiaries. 

Steps for selling a house in trust

Review Trust Documents 

Carefully examine the trust documents to understand the guidelines set forth by the grantor. Ensure you have the legal authority to sell the property and identify any specific instructions regarding the sale.

Select a Trustee

If you’re not the designated trustee, appoint a trustworthy individual or professional trustee to oversee the sale process. The trustee will handle negotiations, paperwork, and coordination with real estate professionals.

Contact A Real Estate Agent

Partnering with a trusted real estate agent will always give you an edge when selling any property, but it’s essential when the house is in an irrevocable trust. The trustee should find a real estate agent to help prep and list the home.

Prepare the Property

Make necessary repairs and improvements to enhance the property’s appeal. A well-maintained home will attract buyers and fetch a competitive price. This step will help you get decent offers for your selling property.

Complete Legal Paperwork

Prepare the necessary legal documents for the sale. This includes transfer deeds, disclosures, and any additional paperwork local regulations require. Ensure compliance with trust provisions. 

Assets distribution and tax-paying

After the sale is complete, the trustee is responsible for ensuring all proceeds from the sale are distributed among the beneficiaries named in the trust. Depending on the terms in the trust document, this may be distributed in a combined payment or multiple payments over time.

The trust can pay any taxes due depending on how the proceeds will be handled.

Filing 1041 form

The U.S. Form 1041, the “Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts,” must be filed with the IRS when selling a property held in a trust. Per the IRS, this form collects the necessary information when you sell a house held in trust.

Why Choose HR Property Doctor

Even after the legal aspects of selling property in a trust are sorted out, selling a home, regardless of whether you are the grantor or benefactor, is time-consuming. You must prepare the home for sale, make repairs, hold showings and open houses, look for the right buyer, etc.

But, if you want to sell quickly and get the best cash offer, you can contact HR Property Doctor. We will buy your home as-is, so you don’t need to make any repairs or preparations, and because we are not wholesalers or realtors, we can offer you the best price possible. 


Selling a property held in an irrevocable trust can be a complex process, and it is important to understand the implications of such a sale. It is essential to work with experienced professionals who are knowledgeable about trusts, estate planning, and real estate transactions. With proper guidance and preparation, you should be able to sell your property held in an irrevocable trust successfully.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a reputable local house-buying professional, also a real estate agent (Virginia). Count on his nearly fifteen (15) years of expertise in being part of resolving any issues that may threaten transactions, being accessible, and answering questions, as well as remaining transparent throughout closing transactions. One of Paul's Favorite Quotes: "To Give Anything Less Than Your Best Is To Sacrifice the Gift."

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