A living trust is a legal agreement you draft regarding control and distribution of your assets while you're still living. The person creating the trust is referred to as the trustor or settlor, and the persons with authority to act on behalf of the trust are the trustees. A living trust can typically be ended or amended by the trustor at any time if the trust is revocable.
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Check state laws regarding revocable trusts. The laws might require you include specific information or wording on the revocation document, such as the date the trust was created. List all the items you need to include in the revocation.
Review the revocable trust's terms. The trust should have a part addressing dissolution or revocation. Add any requirements the trust papers impose on dissolution, such as stating the reason, to the revocation item list.
Prepare a dissolution document. Use the revocation list as reference; include all items on the list. What you need to include depends on your state and your trust's wording, but you typically need the name of the trust, the date of its creation, the names of the trustors and the trustees and a statement indicating the trust is hereby revoked. Don't have the trustors sign the document yet.
Make a list of all trust assets. Write down what you must do to put the trust asset back into the name of an individual, typically the trustors. For example, if your home is in your trust, you need to prepare a new deed from the trust to you as an individual and file the deed in the property's county land records. If the trust belongs to you and your spouse, transfer the home from the trust to you and your spouse as husband and wife on a deed.
Transfer all of the assets from the trust. Make copies of all transfer documents for your records.
Have all trustors sign the revocation document in front of a notary. Ask the notary to notarize the signature. Make copies of the document.
Deliver the revocation document to all places who had the trust on file and all parties affected, including the trustees, beneficiaries and financial institutions. Keep the original for your records.
- Original trust agreement
Tips & Warnings
If you keep the original trust document, write "revoked" across each page and the trustor's signatures. Attach the revocation to the papers.
Obtain legal assistance if you're not sure how to transfer trust assets.
Do not dissolve the trust before transferring assets. The trust must exist at the time of transfer to have the legal authority to move assets.
If you're not a trustee, have the actual trustees sign the revocation document along with the trustors.
An irrevocable living trust can sometimes be revoked, but you must petition the court for permission to do so.
References & Resources
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