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How to Create Your Own Deed of Trust

Completing the Form

In the first part of the form you will fill in the relevant names, addresses, and other party information involved in the transaction. This part usually takes the longest to complete, but is really just a matter of collecting and entering the appropriate information.


In the next section you will enter one or more legal descriptions of the property. If you do not have the legal property description already, you can find it easily by contacting your county register or recorder of deeds (by phone or online) and providing the property address or tax parcel number. You can also try looking at previously recorded deeds, tax assessments, websites such as zillow.com, your land title, or asking a licensed real estate attorney for help. If including multiple legal descriptions, begin each new description on a new line.

Next, you will enter the main terms of repayment. These are located on the promissory note and will be negotiated by the parties ahead of time. Including this information is for reference purposes only. Briefly outline the main terms of repayment from the promissory note, including the principal amount owed, the interest rate, how interest is calculated (annually, semi-annually, or monthly), the address where payments are to be made, and when the interest adjustment date is, if any.

Lastly, you will have the option of entering any additional terms and conditions you wish to include. This is mainly to allow you to include any non-standard terms that the parties have agreed to. You may want to view the preview first to see the standard terms that have already been included.

Executing the Agreement

To execute the agreement, the parties simply sign and date it in the presence of a notary or witnesses. Most states just require one notary to act as a witness. However, two witnesses are required to sign deeds of trust in Arkansas and Georgia. These states allow a notary to sign in the place of one of the witnesses.

Two Witnesses

Note, in ANY state, lenders can still choose to require two witnesses to sign. The main requirements for witnesses are that they are 18 years or older and are disinterested from the transaction, meaning they are not involved and have no stake in the outcome.

Final Steps

Although recording is not always required, it is highly recommended that you do record as soon as possible, because it will protect you from potential adverse claims to your title by other parties. Every deed of trust should be recorded with the appropriate local office, usually called the County Recorder's Office or County Clerk's Office. As every county has its own specific filing requirements, we recommend contacting your local office to see if it requires any supplemental forms, whether it has any special requirements you need to complete, and also if you need help writing a proper legal description.

Some points to remember when completing your deed of trust:

  • Don't staple multiple pages together unless your local office specifically permits it.
  • Leave all margins blank. Our deed of trust sets the margin default sizes at 1 inch except for the top of the first page, which is 3 inches to give extra space for official use only. Your local office will inform you whether you need to vary these sizes somewhat.
  • All signatures on the document must be originals and not copied, printed, or stamped.

Once signed, witnessed, and recorded, the document is effective. It is a good idea to make sure each party gets a copy of the signed document.

How LegalNature Can Help You with Your Legal Form Needs

LegalNature can help you with all of your personal legal form needs such as promissory note forms and promissory note templates. Let us help you get started today. Click here to create your deed of trust now.

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