How to write a revocable living trust

A revocable living trust, aka a revocable trust, is a written document that lays out how your assets will be dealt with after you die.

These assets might include valuable possessions, bank accounts, real estate, and investments.

In order to write a revocable living trust, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps. 

Firstly, you’ll have to designate beneficiaries and parcel out who gets what.

Next, you’ll choose a trustee i.e. someone to administer the trust on your behalf. You must then complete the document, sign it, and have it notarized. 

Here’s how to do it. 

How to set up a revocable living trust

The best and simplest way to set up a declaration of trust is arguably to hire an attorney.

However, it’s also possible to create one yourself. 

These are the steps you’ll need to take to do so. 

Designate beneficiaries

The first step in setting up a revocable living trust is to designate your beneficiaries, as well as distribution amounts and percentages i.e. who’ll get what.

Choose your trustee

Step two requires you to name a trustee.

This should be someone you trust to carry out your wishes. It’s good etiquette to check that this person is happy to fulfill the role before naming them in your will. 

Complete the document

Next, you’ll need to complete your living trust.

You might wish to go over it with a legal professional before finalizing it.

Make sure this document is signed in the presence of a notary public (this last part can also be performed by a lawyer). 

Fund your trust

You’ll also need to fund your trust with the assets you’ve listed in it.

Keep your trust document safe

Finally, make sure your living trust document is stored safely e.g. in a safety deposit box at your bank. You might also want to pass a copy on to your attorney. 

The trustee should be made aware of where this is kept and how to access it should they need to. 

Can you set up a trust without an attorney?

You can set up a trust without an attorney.

The easiest way is to use a DIY service that offers pre-written documents, such as PandaDoc’s deed of trust template

Sites like these will allow you to fill in their pre-written templates online.

Then, all you have to do is print out the document, sign it in front of witnesses, and have it notarized.

Can I amend my living trust without an attorney?

You don’t have to have an attorney involved to make changes to your trust; however, you may wish to consult a professional if you’re concerned and wish to avoid any confusion between your original trust document and the altered version. 

Just remember that you’ll need to keep your amended document in the same place as the original trust document and that both of these should be signed and dated.

Draft and manage vital documents with PandaDoc

PandaDoc offers a plethora of family law templates for you to use to satisfy your everyday legal needs.

These are user-friendly and intuitive and written in plain language that’s devoid of jargon.

Use our template today to draft a revocable living trust from the comfort of your home — without needing to consult a lawyer.