Our Revocable Living Trust packages are state-specific and updated regularly. Read below to find out more about the 10 documents that are included in our Revocable Living Trust package.
Please note: if you own or mortgage a home(s) you need to transfer it into your trust. This is legally done through a document called a deed. We can prepare one for you (or if your best friend works at a title company you could try that too) but it is vital to make sure your home is properly transferred.
1- Revocable Living Trust
A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document or “Living Entity” that allows you to transfer ownership of real property and/or assets (such as a home, real estate, bank accounts, certificates of deposit, securities, life insurance, stocks, bonds, etc.) from your personal ownership into the legal ownership of the Trust. A Living Trust is just what the name implies, a document that is created during your life, but that can be changed or terminated at any time. A Trust allows you to decide who will receive your assets, how much they will receive, and when they receive it. A Trust allows you to choose your successor trustees, who your beneficiaries are and appoint guardians for any minor children.If a Trust is set up correctly and all of the property and assets are properly transferred to the trust it will provide the following benefits: Avoid probate entirely; distribute property and assets to the beneficiaries almost immediately; ensure any minor or disabled children are cared for; handle financial affairs if you become incompetent; keep everything private and out of the public eye; and save money in federal estate tax and capital gains taxes.
2- Declaration of Trust
Under certain, very limited circumstances, the Declaration could possibly be helpful after your death if you neglected to transfer a valuable asset to your Trust; it merely confirms that you intended to include all of your assets within your Trust. The Declaration is not a substitute for the requirement that you must transfer (“title”) your assets into the name of your Trust in order to avoid a potential probate of those non-Trust assets.
3- Assignment of Personal Property and Business Interests
The Assignment acts as the method of transferring all of your personal property assets (generally they do not have a title or an ownership document) and Business Interests to your Trust (thereby avoiding the necessity or possibility of having to probate such assets).Business interests should be transferred to the Living Trust by completing a Transfer Agreement and Assignment. This assigns any business interest you own to be distributed according to the beneficiary designation you have indicated in your Living Trust. This document is included with your Revocable Living Trust Package.We also include a form where you can designate the distribution of specific items of personal property (e.g., the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda goes to my nephew Jack, my wedding ring goes to my daughter Alice, etc.). This form can be edited, crossed out, added to, etc as your desires and personal belongings change over time. Personal items generally should not be named in the trust.
4- Funding Documents – Schedule “A”
Schedule “A” is an inventory of your “Assets” and set of instruction letters that indicates how to transfer property and assets to the trust. Once the property and assets have been properly transferred to the trust, verification and confirmation of the transfers should be kept in Schedule A. When both of the trustors have passed away, the successor trustees will use Schedule A to quickly locate assets and property. It is very important to keep Schedule A current and up to date.This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of a Trust. A Trust must be properly funded with assets in order to operate properly. If these items are not properly transferred into the Trust, they may be subject to probate!
5- Certification of Trust
The Certification sets forth the existence of your Trust and your unlimited right as Trustee to deal with any account or asset held in the Trust. The Certification acts as a short version of the Trust Agreement and gives any third party all the information required from the Trust without getting into the dispositive provisions, which are (and should remain) confidential.
6- Last Will and Testament “Pour-Over Will”
This Will is commonly referred to as a “Pour-Over” Will. Under the terms of the Will, any assets held by you which have not previously been transferred into your Trust will be added to the Trust at the time of your death (but may be subject to probate in order to do so). The purpose of this is to make sure all of your assets (whether in the Trust or not) are distributed according to the distribution plan set forth in the Trust. The Will also names guardianship of minor children.
7- Durable Power of Attorney for Management of Property and Personal Affairs
The Durable Power of Attorney is a “general power of attorney”. This document is primarily intended to give your named agent the power to deal with any trust or non-trust assets in the event of your incapacity. This document gives your agent broad powers to dispose of, sell, convey and encumber your real and personal property.
8- Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will
The Health Care Power gives your named Agent the power to make medical decisions, sign consents and/or releases with hospitals and/or doctors if you are incapacitated. It also includes your “Living Will” for end-of-life decisions.The appointed health care agent may be any competent person who is at least eighteen (18) years old and not providing paid health care to you. This person is usually a trusted family member or friend.
9- Burial and Final Instructions
The last instructions give you the ability to specify how you wish your remains to be dealt with (e.g., cremation or burial); to provide information of any prior arrangements and to designate the persons to carry-out your wishes.
10- Instructions for Successor Trustee, Powers of Attorney and Guardian (if applicable)
These instructions give direction to your Successor Trustee, Powers of Attorney and Guardian in the event of your incapacitation or death. If you own (or mortgage) any property, you will also need to purchase a deed to transfer real property.