How to Register a Living Trust

A living trust, also known as a revocable trust, is a legal device that permits you to manage your property during life and distribute the property upon death. Some states require you to register your living trust with the probate court where you, as the settlor, reside. Registering the trust with the court does not give the court power to administer the document on death. In any event, the court is permitted to interpret the documents if there is a dispute.

Create a typewritten document to register the living trust. The document should contain the name of the settlor, the name of the original trustee, the date of the trust and a statement of acceptance of the trusteeship. It is also recommended that you write the name of the trust on the document, as many trusts are named after the settlor, such as "John Smith Family Trust."

Travel to the local probate court where the settlor resides.

File the document identifying the living trust with the clerk of the probate court. Upon filing, the living trust is registered.

Warnings

  • This article does not constitute legal advice. See an attorney.

Tips

  • A trust can only be registered in one state at a time.
  • Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico and North Dakota require the registration of a living trust. Florida and Nebraska allow registration but do not require it. Colorado requires registration upon the settlor's death and only if not all of the property is distributed.

References

About the Author

Andrew Mayfair has written professionally since 2009 when his article on patent law was published in the "Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review." Mayfair earned his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of California, Davis and his Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.