Does a Revocable Living Trust have to be registered in the court house in PA

Asked over 3 years ago - Palmyra, PA

steps to start a trust account at your bank in PA

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Mark T. Coulter

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . In general, no. Your question is missing some important details about your current circumstances, (trust creator alive/deceased; property transfer pending from the trust to a third party, etc), so precision can not be provided in the answer. In most circumstances, the revocable living trust does not have to registered in the court house. One of the benefits of a revocable living trust is in fact the privacy it affords the family. There are a couple of exceptions. If the trust creator has passed away, the PA Inheritance Tax return will reflect that a trust was in place, and a copy must be filed. This copy, however, can be sealed from public inspection and only be made available to the Department of Revenue (who does have a right to review the Trust, but they don't make it publically available). Further, if you transfer PA real estate into the trust, then the trust needs to be filed to claim the PA Realty Transfer Tax exemption, but again privacy measures can be used to make sure that it isn't filed or inspected locally, but instead it is forwarded to the Department of Revenue to assure that the trust qualifies for the Transfer Tax Exemption, after which they will either return the trust or destroy the copy sent, if you follow their procedures. The two above filings are usually made at the courthouse, but don't require the trust to be registered or filed for public inspection at the courthouse.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER

    Atty. Coulter is licensed to practice law in Pensylvania with offices in Monroeville, PA and Wexford/Sewickly, PA. His phone number is 412-253-PLAN and his email address is mcoulter@estateplanningcenters.com.
    This response is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. This response is only a form of legal education. It is intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make the reply unsuitable. Atty. Coulter strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in his or her state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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  2. John J. Ferry Jr.

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Also, you should keep in mind that living trusts generally do not work to avoid inheritance taxes. While there are some situations where a living trust provides some benefit, they are (in my opinion) often sold to people that don't need them, usually at outrageously high cost. Before you pay someone thousands of dollars to prepare one for you, please get a second opinion from another attorney.

    The Pennsylvania Attorney General's website has information on Living Trust scams: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumers.aspx?i...

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