A revocable trust, also called a living trust, is a legal document you control as a trustee that holds your assets until your death or incapacitation. At that time, your successor trustee takes over handling your affairs. When you die, the assets held in trust will not be subject to probate before they are distributed to your beneficiaries, which saves time and money. Once a revocable trust is formed, you must transfer the assets currently in your name -- such as real estate titles, life insurance and financial accounts -- into the name of your trust or they will not be considered a part of it.
Use a quitclaim deed to transfer your real estate title into your trust. Access a form online or from an attorney or make your own with the required information. Contact the county recorder where your property is located if you have any questions.Step 2
Find the deed to your house in your files or at the county recorder and look at how your name is currently listed, and note other names on the title. Place all titleholders as the grantors on the quitclaim deed exactly as they're written on the current document.Step 3
Put the official name of your trust, such as "Smith 2012 Family Trust," as the grantee on the quitclaim deed and add the address where it should be mailed after it's recorded.Step 4
Write a zero in the space for the amount of money exchanged for the property if the sale price is required in your jurisdiction.Step 5
Give the county parcel number and legal description of the property. This information can be found on your property tax bill or at the recorder's office.Step 6
Sign the quitclaim deed as the grantor in front of a notary, who will stamp the document confirming your identity. Have a copy of your trust available for the notary to review, if necessary. All current titleholders must sign the deed before it can properly transfer into your trust. Most states do not require the grantee to sign the deed, but if you must, add "Trustee, Smith 2012 Family Trust" after your signature.Step 7
Take the signed and notarized quitclaim deed to your county recorder's office to complete the transfer of title into your revocable trust. Check in two to four weeks to ensure it has been recorded. Include the address of the property on the asset list addendum attached to your trust.
- To take your property out of the trust and place it back into your name, file another quitclaim deed and reverse the grantor and grantee. Put the trust name as the grantor and your name as the grantee. If you are the trustee, you will sign it and have it notarized to complete the transaction.
Carol Deeb has been an editor and writer since 1988. Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and online publications, as well as a book on education. Deeb is a real-estate investor and business owner with professional experience in human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Diego State University.