Oregon State Living Trust Rules

by Andrine Redsteer

Oregon, like many other states, has adopted the Uniform Trust Code, which sets forth the rules and requirements for living trusts. All trusts, in any state, must meet certain basic requirements: have a trustee, trust funds and designated beneficiaries. In Oregon, the state also imposes specific requirements regarding the primary place of business if an institution is appointed as trustee.

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Living Trust Basics

Oregon's requirements for a living trust aren't unlike other jurisdictions. First, living trusts in Oregon are revocable, meaning the creator, or "settlor," may amend or revoke the trust at any time during his lifetime. Moreover, a living trust in Oregon must have a settlor, trust funds and beneficiaries. If a living trust fails to include funds and beneficiaries, it serves no purpose and is invalid. According to Oregon law, a living trust is presumed revocable unless the creating document unequivocally states otherwise.

Trustees

Under Oregon law, a settlor may be the trustee or the trustee may be a bank or financial institution based in Oregon. Oregon law allows for the appointment of multiple trustees; any of these trustees may be removed or replaced by the person who created the trust. If the creator of the living trust appoints himself as trustee, Oregon's Uniform Trust Code mandates that a successor trustee be appointed. In the event the settlor dies, the successor trustee takes on the role of primary trustee.

Creation of a Living Trust in Oregon

Oregon law requires that a living trust be created via a trust document; this document must include the name of the trustee and successor trustee and the names of beneficiaries. Property must also be transferred to the trust and can include such items as cash, real property and personal property. Oregon law requires notarization of a living trust document.

Taxes

In Oregon, a living trust is not exempt from estate, income or gift taxes. If a living trust has assets in excess of $1 million, an Oregon state tax return is required to be filed upon the settlor-trustee's death. Likewise, if living trust assets exceed $2 million, the filing of a federal estate tax return is required upon the death of the settlor-trustee.