Revocable trusts have become very common in estate planning and are particularly used as a way to avoid probate. However, your property doesn't automatically become part of the trust just by signing the trust document. You must specifically identify the property you are transferring to the trust and this information is included in Schedule A attached to the document.
Without a Schedule A, the trust would be incomplete. The ultimate purpose of the trust is to distribute your assets to the beneficiaries designated in your trust. Schedule A should specifically identify these assets, such as listing the address of any real estate, bank account numbers and an inventory of household and personal items that are to be in the trust.
Other Transfer Documents
In addition to being listed on Schedule A, any property that has an identifiable title document, such as the deed to your home, will also require the title document to be changed to the trust.
Amending Schedule A
One benefit to having a Schedule A listing your assets, as opposed to listing them in the trust document, is the ease in amending Schedule A when your assets change. Simply prepare a new schedule, detach the old one from the trust document, and attach the amended schedule.
If you live in a community property state, such as California, and you are putting both community property and separate property into the trust, you should include in the property description on Schedule A which property is community and which is separate.
- Hand and document at the meeting image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from Fotolia.com