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What are some ways to establish a revocable living trust?

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Quick Answer

Trust makers can establish revocable living trusts themselves through boilerplates, which Nolo makes freely available, or they can hire lawyers to help them. The process involves drawing up the trust document, having it notarized and transferring assets into the trust, notes Nolo.

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Full Answer

Trust makers do not need to engage lawyers unless there is a complex estate planning situation, advises Nolo. For most people, revocable living trusts are simple to set up. A trust maker usually establishes himself as the creator of the trust, known as the grantor, and the manager of the trust, known as the trustee. He must also designate an alternate trustee who can take over if the primary trustee becomes incapacitated or dies. Additionally, he needs to name beneficiaries of the trust's property and someone who can manage assets bequeathed to underage beneficiaries.

When the document is ready, the grantor takes it to a notary public to sign it officially, explains Nolo. Although the grantor lists the trust's assets in the trust document, he must also retitle some property, such as real estate for the trust. Establishing a living trust avoids costly probate proceedings, avoids conservatorship and maintains privacy, since living trusts do not become public documents.

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