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Do any title documents need to be filled out if the grantor and the trustee is the same person in a revocable living trust?

Los Angeles, CA |

I'm in the process of preparing a revocable living trust, where the grantors and the initial trustees are the same people. The home will be part of the trust, and the grantors/initial trustees are also the same people on the deed instrument. Does a new deed document need to be recorded anyhow?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Yes, you need to execute and record a deed from yourself as grantors to yourself as trustees of the trust in order for the property to be an asset of the trust. If you do not do so, a probate (or possibly a different kind of court proceeding) would be required for the property to be treated as a trust asset following your death. Funding the trust (the transfer of assets to the trustees of the trust) is a key part of planning using a revocable trust.

    You should also transfer your other assets (other than retirement accounts) to the Trust. Assets that pass by beneficiary designation and assets that pass by operation of law (assets held in joint tenancy or pay on death accounts) will not be subject to probate. Other assets that remain in your individual name rather than the names of the Trustees, will be subject to probate.

    Please see an attorney if you have any questions about funding your trust.

    DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION PRESENTED HERE IS GENERAL IN NATURE. IT IS NOT INTENDED, NOR SHOULD IT BE CONSTRUED, AS LEGAL ADVICE. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN US. YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED ATTORNEY FOR SPECIFIC LEGAL ADVICE ABOUT YOUR PARTICULAR SITUATION.


  2. Having an attorney advise you on the terms of your trust is ideal. Creating your trust incorrectly or failing to fund it may be more expensive than paying the attorney in the first place. Additionally, creating and recording deeds that are improperly prepared can create a cloud on title. Nevertheless, all assets should be titled as "NAMES, Trustees of the TRUST dated DATE."

    THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mrs. Cook is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in San Diego County. She is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, please be advised that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used or relied upon, and cannot be used or relied upon, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.


  3. A quit claim deed needs to be completed to transfer any real estate to the trust.
    It is very important to "fund" the trust to avoid probate.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

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