Skip to main content

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

Palmyra, PA |
Attorney answers 2


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.


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
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.

By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your state, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question.

Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


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:

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer