What is Foolsaurus?

It's a glossary of investing terms edited and maintained by our analysts, writers and YOU, our Foolish community.

How to Execute a Living Revocable Trust

Original post by Linda Ray of Demand Media

A living trust is more flexible than a will.

You can place your assets in a trust while you're still alive when you utilize a living trust. According to the American Bar Association, most living trusts are revocable and provide the most flexibility. You can retain control of your assets, sell or purchase property or give it away all in the name of the trust when you are the primary trustee. Your designated trustee has the same rights if you appoint someone to manage your trust.

Step 1

Create a document that places all your assets in the trust account. If you have an extensive list, you can utilize a separate document and refer to the schedule of assets in your trust documents.

Step 2

Transfer the titles to all your property to the name of the trust. Ownership must reflect the trust's name on everything you place in the trust, including bank accounts, investments, deeds and titles.

Step 3

Name a successor trustee in the event of your death or incapacity. Choose someone whom you trust, as intimated by the name of the document. You can design a trust to distribute your assets or profits from the assets in any manner of your choosing. For example, you could set up the trust for grandchildren and direct your successor trustee to provide income as needed to the kids as they age.

Step 4

Choose trustees to whom you want to leave your assets as co-trustees or successor trustees of the accounts. When you die, the assets automatically become theirs since the titles are in their names already. Transfer of assets is smooth and does not need to be included in any probate proceedings.

Step 5

Execute a revocable living trust if you want to keep your intentions secret. If you plan to leave your assets to one member of the family to the exclusion of others, you may not want to them to know your plans. A last will and testament becomes public record once it's executed and everyone can find out who you plan to leave your estate to.


Tips & Warnings

  • In a revocable trust, you always have the right to make changes to the specifics of the document, even if you aren't the primary trustee.

Things Needed

  • Trust document
  • Title transfers
  • Trustee or successor


About the Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of research and reporting experience. She has covered health care and fitness for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success," "Verve" and "American City Business Journals." Ray has also reported on hospitals, commercial development and society. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images