How to Find a Trust Agreement

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As a legally-named trustee or executor, you will be responsible for administering the trust agreement of the deceased grantor, the person whose wishes are expressed in the trust. The grantor will have already provided you with a photocopy of the trust agreement, but finding the original signed and executed trust agreement can be a challenge if you don't know where to look. A trust agreement is not public record, so the trust agreement will not be filed with a court.

Locate any keys in the decedent's home, including lockbox and safe deposit box keys. Check in desk drawers, envelopes in the closet or other hiding places the decedent may have used. Set aside the wall safe combination and any bank statements, attorney letters or other important documents you find during your search that may assist you in your duties as the legal trustee or executor.

Locate the decedent's lockbox and open it. Search for the original trust agreement, which should consist of white pages stapled to a blue paper backing.

Locate any wall safes in the decedent's home. Open the safe(s) using the combination if you have it. Search for the original trust agreement.

Locate the name and address of the decedent's bank from a recent bank statement. Take your copy of the trust agreement, a certified copy of the decedent's death certificate -- to which you will have access as the legally-appointed trustee or executor -- and the safe deposit box key to the bank. If any of the decedent's bank accounts are in the name of the trust, you can legally access them.

Locate the name, address and phone number of the decedent's attorney. Notify her of the decedent's demise. The attorney may have the original trust agreement.


  • Information in this article is intended for persons who have been named in a trust agreement as a trustee, successor trustee or executor.
  • This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice . Always consult a professional with specific questions regarding your situation.


  • Seek the advice of an estate planning attorney in your state if you cannot locate the original trust document.


About the Author

Mary K. Hogan currently holds a Certified Business Analysis Professional certification from the International Institute of Business Analysis and has held the designation of certified trust and financial analyst. Hogan has been a contributing writer online since 2009 and is currently working on her third children's book.

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  • search and magnifier buttons. (with clipping path) image by Andrey Zyk from