wikiHow to Create a Revocable Trust

A revocable living trust (RLT) is a probate-free approach to pass your assets to your beneficiaries after your death. Besides avoiding probate court, an RLT has other advantages. For instance, you can amend the trust at any time, avoid challenges to your estate and segregate your property from community property assets. However, before you enjoy the advantages you must know how to create a revocable trust.


  1. Image titled Create a Revocable Trust Step 1
    Understand an RLT.
    • An RLT is a trust that you set up and manage now instead of creating a will. You transfer ownership of your property, such as belongings and money, to your beneficiaries. You assign a trustee to manage your trust.
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    Choose what assets are going into the RLT.
    • You can include items such as money, real estate or jewelry.
  3. Image titled Create a Revocable Trust Step 3
    Determine the people involved in your RLT.
    • Appoint a trustee that will manage your RLT.
    • You can designate yourself or another person as the trustee.
    • If you designate yourself as a trustee, then you must name a successor trustee who takes over upon your death. The person who succeeds you is responsible for distributing your assets to beneficiaries.
    • Name your beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries are the individuals who receive your assets such as your house, jewelry or television after your death.
    • Decide who manages any property you leave to extremely young children. This person is responsible for keeping the property until the children reach the age you designate such as 18 or 25 years old. This person, for example, may be the children's parent or legal guardian.
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    Create the RLT.
    • You can obtain a blank form from online legal sources, CDs or books.
    • Use the RLT form to list your grantor (you), a trustee and beneficiaries.
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    Notarize the RLT. The trust must be notarized to be legal.
    • You can find a notary in banks or law offices.
    • Sign your RLT in front of the notary.
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    Make your RLT effective.
    • Transfer assets such as titles into your trust. For example, you have to transfer the deed of your house from your name into the name of your RLT. This may require paying an additional filing fee to process your new deed.


  • You should pick people you trust such as a spouse, adult child or friend to manage your RLT. You may also choose a lawyer to manage the trust.
  • An RLT is not permanent. You can change your beneficiaries, successor trustee and trustee at any time.
  • You may have to draft what is called a pour-over-will. The will is different from the traditional will. It makes sure assets that you don't include in your RLT are given to your beneficiaries upon your death.

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Categories: Accounting and Regulations