In an irrevocable trust, the grantor gives up the right to revise, amend or terminate the trust without the permission of the beneficiary. An irrevocable trust is best used as an estate-planning tool to transfer assets that have potential for appreciation. The benefit of an irrevocable trust is that the designated assets are not included in the grantor’s estate, thus reducing the grantor’s estate taxes.  The property in the irrevocable trust usually goes to a beneficiary who would have inherited the property anyway pursuant to the grantor’s will.  John owns and runs a small hamburger restaurant, and wants to pass the business on to his son, Ben.  Currently, John's Hamburgers is small and its stock is not worth much.  John creates an irrevocable trust with Ben as the beneficiary and places $10,000 worth of John's Hamburgers stock in the trust.  Over many years, John's Hamburgers grows to become a national franchise. John has now retired and Ben runs the business.  The stock John placed in the trust is now worth $100,000,000.  When John dies, Ben receives the stock, becomes the owner and continues to run the business.  From an estate tax standpoint, the stock will NOT be included in John's taxable estate.  Thus, there will be no taxes paid on this generational transfer.  Had the stock been included in the taxable estate, the tax bill would have been enormous, and Ben might have had to sell part or all of the business in order to pay the estate tax.