REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST
Assets in a revocable living trust avoid probate while providing long-term property management. Creators usually appoint themselves trustees, exercising complete control over trust assets. As the name implies, a "revocable living trust" may be revoked (terminated) by the creator at any time during their lifetime. After executing a living trust, the creator continues to enjoy all the present benefits of their assets without changing their ability to control them.
What is the difference between a last will and testament and a revocable living trust?
Yes, living trusts are legal in every state and all states recognize trusts based on the laws of another state. Your living trust will specify the state laws governing it.
The trust avoids second-state probate if title to the out-of-state properly was properly transferred to the trust.
If I become incompetent or ill, who will manage my living trust?
The successor trustee takes over and manages the trust during a period of incapacity.
updated for 2022
The document used to establish a revocable living trust is called a "Declaration of Trust," which sets forth the terms and conditions of the revocable living trust. After executing the Declaration of Trust, creators transfer assets to themselves as trustees of the living trust. Transferring titled assets, such as real estate or vehicles, requires retitling — transferring other assets requires merely adding them to the schedule of assets referenced by the declaration of trust. Learn more about Transferring Assets to a Living Trust.
How can I create my own living trust?
Get a valid living trust form -- a declaration of trust -- from a reputable vendor.
Choose a name for your living trust. Ex: The John Q Public Revocable Living Trust.
Choose a successor trustee(s) and alternate -- the person(s) who will execute your wishes when you pass away.
List assets you wish to place in the trust.
Choose beneficiaries for assets placed in the trust.
Sign your trust in the presence of a notary.
Does a living trust protect assets from creditors?
- control over assets,
- elimination of the uncertainties of probate,
- maintaining privacy after death,
- avoiding conservatorships,
- protecting assets from court challenges, and
- quickly distributing assets to beneficiaries.
- ongoing management,
- transfer taxes, and
A living trust requires action to transfer property in and out. Assets without title are added by simply listing them on the schedule of assets, but titled assets must be retitling. There are revocable living trust forms and guides to minimize these tasks.
A "living" document may be continually edited and updated by either a limited or unrestricted group. Thus, a living trust is revocable by definition. The terms living trust and revocable living trust are interchangeable.