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Revocable Living Trust Checklist

Step 1: Review Your Living Trust

If you find any issues with your living trust, you can easily make changes on LegalNature's website or by downloading and editing the document in Microsoft Word format. Then simply print and proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Sign and Notarize

In order for your revocable living trust to be executed properly, you must sign it in front of a notary public.

Step 3: Complete Related Documents

Included with your living trust is a Notice of Assignment and a Certificate of Trust. The Notice of Assignment is used to evidence the transfer of any property you listed that is untitled—as in, without official title paperwork—into the trust. In some states, like New York, this is required, whereas in other states this is simply a recommended formality. If making a joint living trust, both grantors will need to complete the form. The Certificate of Trust is used to show a financial institution or other organization that you have created a trust while keeping the rest of the information in your trust document private. It will need to be completed by hand and then notarized. It is best to make multiple copies.

Step 4: Transfer Property to Your Trust

Transferring property into your trust is crucial. Without doing this, your trust will not be properly funded and your property will remain outside of the trust. All untitled property will be handled by the Notice of Assignment. Any property that has a title should be transferred to the trustee to hold in the name of the trust. This includes stocks, bonds, real estate, and bank accounts. A common format for the transfer language is "Joe Smith, as trustee of Joe Smith Revocable Living Trust u/a/d [DATE]." You may use the Certificate of Trust as evidence of the trust's existence.

Step 5: Distribute Copies and Add Useful Information

Give a copy of your completed living trust document to your successor trustee; this will make it easier for the trustee to take control when the time comes. It may also be good to compile all relevant information about trust property and beneficiaries for your trust bundle.

Step 6: Periodically Review and Update

At this point the hard work is done! It is important to review your living trust from time to time to ensure everything still reflects your circumstances. Do not forget that you can continually add and remove property from your trust.

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