Definition of Revocable Trust Schedule A

By Beverly Bird

A schedule to any legal document is simply a list that details aspects of the document. In the case of a revocable trust, schedule A is the first such attachment; it lists those assets you have transferred into the trust. Your trust might have more than one schedule; for example, you might want to list assets and insurance policies separately. Schedule A is an “informational” piece, added to aid your successor trustee in determining what your trust owns at the time of your death.

Format

Schedule A is not a legal document in itself, so it has no required format. Caption it as the schedule of the property you’ve transferred, then create subcategories, such as “real estate,” “personal property” or “financial accounts.” Under each subheading, list the specific assets with as much description as possible, such as the account numbers with savings or investment firms.

Transfer of Ownership

Listing your assets on a schedule A and attaching it to your trust document does not mean your trust now owns the assets. You must still go through the procedure of transferring titles of all your assets into the name of your trust. If you transfer property that does not require title, such as personal belongings, listing them on your schedule A might be sufficient. However, you should back up your schedule A with an actual bill of sale from you to the trust anyway. Use a nominal price, such as $1, to document the transaction.

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Legal Impact

Because a schedule A cannot transfer title by itself, it also has no legal authority with regard to your trust. A properly drafted trust is valid and enforceable even if it does not include a schedule A. A schedule A does not create a trust and has no legal impact on its own.

Omissions

For the sake of clarity, you should also refer to the existence of your schedule A in the language of your trust document. Be explicit that your trust owns all assets transferred into it during your lifetime, not just those you’ve listed on the schedule. You can continue adding assets to your trust after you’ve created it, so it's possible you might forget or neglect to update your schedule A each time you add to your trust. You can also add language to your trust document to alert your successor trustee that the list might not be complete.

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References

Related articles

The Assignment of Personal Items to Trust

A living trust is a legal entity that holds property for the benefit of someone other than the person who created the trust. The process of transferring property into a trust varies depending on the type of property. For example, transferring a house into a trust calls for a process that is different than transferring a bank account. The process of transferring personal items into a trust is a comparatively straightforward one that is accomplished with a document typically called an "assignment of personal property."

How to Put My House in a Trust

You can put your home into your trust by preparing and filing a new deed from all current owners of the home to your trust, no matter what type of trust you have. A deed is a legal paper that is proof of property ownership. Although there is more than one type of deed, a warranty deed is commonly used for a transfer by an owner to a trust. A warranty deed allows you to transfer the home without creating problems later because you are guaranteeing the home's title, or history of ownership. A warranty deed acts as certification of your right to move the home to the trust.

Living Trusts & Bank Accounts

You can place your bank accounts and other assets in a living trust so they bypass probate when you die. Avoiding probate generally saves time and money for the beneficiaries of your estate. You must physically change the titles of your assets from your individual name to the name of your trust for them to skip the probate process upon your death.

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