Sample Shared Living Trust

Here is an example of a Nolo living trust, made for a fictional couple.

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Here is a sample living trust, just to show you what a living trust document can look like. Your trust document will be different, because it will be tailored to your situation and the laws of your state. To learn more about making a living trust, go to the Living Trusts section of Nolo.com.

 

Declaration of Trust

Part 1. Trust Name

This revocable living trust shall be known as the Tommy Trustmaker and Tammy Trustmaker Revocable Living Trust.

Part 2. Declaration of Trust

Tommy Trustmaker and Tammy Trustmaker, called the grantors, declare that they have transferred and delivered to the trustees all their interest in the property described in Schedules A, B and C attached to this Declaration of Trust. All of that property is called the "trust property." The trustees hereby acknowledge receipt of the trust property and agree to hold the trust property in trust, according to this Declaration of Trust.

Either grantor may add property to the trust.

Part 3. Terminology

The term "this Declaration of Trust" includes any provisions added by valid amendment.

Part 4. Character of Trust Property

While both grantors are alive, property held in this trust shall retain its original character as community or separate property, as the case may be.

If the trust is revoked, the trustee shall distribute the trust property listed on Schedule A to the grantors as their community property. The trust property listed in Schedule B shall be distributed to Tammy Trustmaker as her separate property, and the trust property listed in Schedule C shall be distributed to Tommy Trustmaker as his separate property.

Part 5. Amendment and Revocation

A. Revocation by Grantor

Either grantor may revoke this trust at any time, without notifying any beneficiary. Revocation may be made in writing or any manner allowed by law.

B. Amendment by Grantors

While both grantors are alive, this Declaration of Trust may be amended only by both of them acting together. All amendments must be in writing and signed by both grantors.

C. Amendment or Revocation by Other Person

The power to revoke or amend this trust is personal to the grantors. A conservator, guardian or other person shall not exercise it on behalf of either grantor, unless a grantor specifically grants a power to revoke or amend this trust in a Durable Power of Attorney.

Part 6. Payment From Trust During Grantors' Lifetimes

The trustees shall pay to or use for the benefit of the grantors as much of the net income and principal of the trust property as the grantors request. Income shall be paid to the grantors at least annually. Income accruing in or paid to trust accounts shall be deemed to have been paid to the grantor.

Part 7. Trustees

A. Original Trustees

Tommy Trustmaker and Tammy Trustmaker are the trustees of this trust. Either alone may act for or represent the trust in any transaction.

B. Trustee at Death of Original Trustee

Upon the death of Tommy Trustmaker or Tammy Trustmaker, the surviving trustee shall serve as sole trustee.

C. Trustee's Responsibilities

The trustee in office shall serve as trustee of all trusts created under this Declaration of Trust, including children's subtrusts.

D. Terminology

In this Declaration of Trust, the term "trustee" includes successor trustees or alternate successor trustees serving as trustee of this trust. The singular "trustee" also includes the plural.

E. Successor Trustee

Upon the death or incapacity of the surviving trustee, or the incapacity of both trustees, Willamina Chang shall serve as trustee. If Willamina Chang is unable or unwilling to serve as successor trustee, Rachel Walton shall serve as trustee.

F. Resignation of Trustee

Any trustee in office may resign at any time by signing a notice of resignation. The resignation must be delivered to the person or institution who is either named in this Declaration of Trust, or appointed by the trustee under Section G of this Part, to next serve as the trustee.

G. Power to Appoint Successor Trustee

If no one named in this Declaration of Trust as a successor trustee or alternate successor trustee is willing or able to serve as trustee, the last acting trustee may appoint a successor trustee and may require the posting of a reasonable bond, to be paid for from the trust property. The appointment must be made in writing, signed by the trustee and notarized.

H. Bond

No bond shall be required for any trustee named in this Declaration of Trust.

I. Compensation

No trustee shall receive any compensation for serving as trustee, unless the trustee serves as a trustee of a child's subtrust created by this Declaration of Trust.

J. Liability of Trustee

With respect to the exercise or nonexercise of discretionary powers granted by this Declaration of Trust, the trustee shall not be liable for actions taken in good faith. Such actions shall be binding on all persons interested in the trust property.

Part 8. Trustee's Management Powers and Duties

A. Powers Under State Law

The trustee shall have all authority and powers allowed or conferred on a trustee under California law, subject to the trustee's fiduciary duty to the grantors and the beneficiaries.

B. Specified Powers

The trustee's powers include, but are not limited to:

  1. The power to sell trust property, and to borrow money and to encumber trust property, including trust real estate, by mortgage, deed of trust or other method.
  2. The power to manage trust real estate as if the trustee were the absolute owner of it, including the power to lease (even if the lease term may extend beyond the period of any trust) or grant options to lease the property, to make repairs or alterations and to insure against loss.
  3. The power to sell or grant options for the sale or exchange of any trust property, including stocks, bonds, debentures and any other form of security or security account, at public or private sale for cash or on credit.
  4. The power to invest trust property in every kind of property and every kind of investment, including but not limited to bonds, debentures, notes, mortgages, stock options, futures and stocks, and including buying on margin.
  5. The power to receive additional property from any source and add it to any trust created by this Declaration of Trust.
  6. The power to employ and pay reasonable fees to accountants, lawyers or investment experts for information or advice relating to the trust.
  7. The power to deposit and hold trust funds in both interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing accounts.
  8. The power to deposit funds in bank or other accounts uninsured by FDIC coverage.
  9. The power to enter into electronic fund transfer or safe deposit arrangements with financial institutions.

10.  The power to continue any business of either grantor.

11.  The power to institute or defend legal actions concerning this trust or the grantors' affairs.

12.  The power to execute any documents necessary to administer any trust created by this Declaration of Trust.

13.  The power to diversify investments, including authority to decide that some or all of the trust property need not produce income.

Part 9. Incapacity of Grantors

If Tommy Trustmaker or Tammy Trustmaker becomes physically or mentally incapacitated, whether or not a court has declared the grantor incompetent or in need of a conservator or guardian, the other grantor shall be sole trustee until the incapacitated grantor is again able to manage his or her affairs.

If both grantors become incapacitated, the successor trustee named in Part 7 of this Declaration of Trust shall serve as trustee.

The determination of a grantor's capacity to manage this trust shall be made by George Hsu. The successor trustee shall, if necessary, ask George Hsu to state, in writing, an opinion as to whether or not the grantor is able to continue serving as trustee. The successor trustee may rely on that written opinion when determining whether or not to begin serving as trustee.

If the successor trustee is unable, after making reasonable efforts, to obtain a written opinion from George Hsu, the successor trustee may request an opinion from David Jenkins and may rely on that opinion.

If the successor trustee is unable, after making reasonable efforts, to obtain a written opinion from George Hsu or David Jenkins, the successor trustee may request an opinion from a physician who examines the grantor, and may rely on that opinion.

The trustee shall manage the trust property and use any amount of trust income or trust principal necessary for the proper health care, support, maintenance, comfort and welfare of both grantors, in accordance with their accustomed manner of living. Income shall be paid to the grantors at least annually. Income accruing in or paid to trust accounts shall be deemed to have been paid to the grantor.

Part 10. Death of a Grantor

The first grantor to die shall be called the "deceased grantor." The other grantor shall be called the "surviving grantor."

Upon the deceased grantor's death, the trustee shall divide the property of the Tommy Trustmaker and Tammy Trustmaker Revocable Living Trust listed on Schedules A, B and C into two separate trusts, Trust #1 and Trust #2. The trustee shall serve as trustee of Trust #1 and Trust #2.

Trust #1 shall contain all the property of the Tommy Trustmaker and Tammy Trustmaker Revocable Living Trust owned by the deceased grantor before it was held in trust, plus accumulated income, except trust property left by the terms of this trust to the surviving grantor. Trust #1 shall become irrevocable at the death of the deceased grantor. The trustee shall distribute the property in Trust #1 to the beneficiaries named in Part 11 of this Declaration of Trust.

Trust #2 shall contain all the property of the Tommy Trustmaker and Tammy Trustmaker Revocable Living Trust owned by the surviving grantor before it was held in trust, plus accumulated income, and any trust property left by the deceased grantor to the surviving grantor. It shall remain revocable until the death of the surviving grantor.

The trustee may pay out of trust property such amounts as necessary for payment of debts, estate taxes and expenses of the last illness and funeral of the deceased or surviving grantor.

Part 11. Beneficiaries

A. Tommy Trustmaker's Beneficiaries

At the death of Tommy Trustmaker, the trustee shall distribute the trust property listed on Schedule C, plus accumulated interest; the share of the property on Schedule A owned by Tommy Trustmaker before it was transferred to the trustee, plus accumulated interest; and if Tommy Trustmaker is the second grantor to die, any property listed on Schedule B left to him by Tammy Trustmaker, plus accumulated interest; as follows:

  1. Tammy Trustmaker shall be given all Tommy Trustmaker's interest in all the furniture in the house at 3320 Windmill Road, Auburn, California, the condominium at 19903 Forest Way, #43, Wawona, California, and the house at 3320 Windmill Road, Auburn, California. If Tammy Trustmaker does not survive Tommy Trustmaker, that property shall be given to Lisa Fortney.
  2. James Leung shall be given all Tommy Trustmaker's interest in Account No. 3301-A94 at International Brokers, San Francisco, California. If James Leung does not survive Tommy Trustmaker, that property shall be given to David Hernandez.
  3. Lisa Fortney shall be given all Tommy Trustmaker's interest in the trust property not otherwise specifically and validly disposed of by this Part. If Lisa Fortney does not survive Tommy Trustmaker, that property shall be given to the Nature Conservancy and Mills College, in equal shares.

B. Tammy Trustmaker's Beneficiaries

At the death of Tammy Trustmaker, the trustee shall distribute the trust property listed on Schedule B, plus accumulated interest; the share of the property on Schedule A owned by Tammy Trustmaker before it was transferred to the trustee, plus accumulated interest; and if Tammy Trustmaker is the second grantor to die, any property listed on Schedule C left to her by Tommy Trustmaker, plus accumulated interest, as follows:

  1. Tommy Trustmaker shall be given all Tammy Trustmaker's interest in the trust property. If Tommy Trustmaker does not survive Tammy Trustmaker, that property shall be given to Lisa Fortney.
  2. Lisa Fortney shall be given all Tammy Trustmaker's interest in the trust property not otherwise specifically and validly disposed of by this Part.

C. Property Left to the Surviving Grantor

Any trust property left by the deceased grantor to the surviving grantor shall remain in the surviving grantor's revocable trust, Trust #2.

D. Terms of Property Distribution

All distributions are subject to any provision in this Declaration of Trust that creates a child's subtrust or a custodianship under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act.

A beneficiary must survive the grantor for 120 hours to receive property under this Declaration of Trust. As used in this Declaration of Trust, to survive means to be alive or in existence as an organization.

All personal and real property left through this trust shall pass subject to any encumbrances or liens placed on the property as security for the repayment of a loan or debt.

If property is left to two or more beneficiaries to share, they shall share it equally unless this Declaration of Trust provides otherwise. If any of them does not survive the grantor, the others shall take that beneficiary's share, to share equally, unless this Declaration of Trust provides otherwise.

Part 12. Children's Subtrusts

A. Beneficiaries for Whom Subtrusts May Be Created

  1. If Lisa Fortney becomes entitled to any trust property under Part 11.B before reaching the age of 29, that trust property shall be kept in a separate child's subtrust, under the provisions of this Part, until Lisa Fortney reaches the age of 29. The subtrust shall be known as the "Tommy Trustmaker and Tammy Trustmaker Revocable Living Trust, Lisa Fortney Subtrust."
  2. If Lisa Fortney becomes entitled to any trust property under Part 11.A before reaching the age of 29, that trust property shall be kept in a separate child's subtrust, under the provisions of this Part, until Lisa Fortney reaches the age of 29. The subtrust shall be known as the "Tommy Trustmaker and Tammy Trustmaker Revocable Living Trust, Lisa Fortney Subtrust."

B. Powers of Subtrust Trustee

The trustee may distribute as much of the net income or principal of the child's subtrust as the trustee deems necessary for the beneficiary's health, support, maintenance or education. Education includes, but is not limited to, college, graduate, postgraduate and vocational studies and reasonably related living expenses.

In deciding whether or not to make a distribution, the trustee may take into account the beneficiary's other income, resources and sources of support. Any subtrust income not distributed by the trustee shall be accumulated and added to the principal of the subtrust.

The trustee is not required to make any accounting or report to the subtrust beneficiary.

C. Assignment of Subtrust Assets

The interests of the beneficiary of a child's subtrust shall not be transferable by voluntary or involuntary assignment or by operation of law before receipt by the beneficiary. They shall be free from the claims of creditors and from attachments, execution, bankruptcy or other legal process to the fullest extent permitted by law.

D. Compensation of Trustee

Any trustee of a child's subtrust created under this Declaration of Trust is entitled to reasonable compensation, without court approval, out of the subtrust assets for ordinary and extraordinary services, and for all services in connection with the termination of any subtrust.

E. Termination of Subtrust

A child's subtrust shall end when any of the following events occurs:

  1. The beneficiary reaches the age specified in Section A of this Part. If the subtrust ends for this reason, the remaining principal and accumulated income of the subtrust shall be given outright to the beneficiary.
  2. The beneficiary dies. If the subtrust ends for this reason, the subtrust property shall pass to the beneficiary's heirs.
  3. The trustee distributes all subtrust property under the provisions of this Declaration of Trust.

Part 13. Homestead Rights

If the grantors' principal residence is held in this trust, grantors have the right to possess and occupy it for life, rent-free and without charge, except for taxes, insurance, maintenance and related costs and expenses. This right is intended to give grantors a beneficial interest in the property and to ensure that the grantors, or either of them, do not lose eligibility for a state homestead tax exemption for which either grantor otherwise qualifies.

Part 14. Severability of Clauses

If any provision of this Declaration of Trust is ruled unenforceable, the remaining provisions shall stay in effect.

Certification of Grantors

We certify that we have read this Declaration of Trust and that it correctly states the terms and conditions under which the trust property is to be held, managed and disposed of by the trustees, and we approve the Declaration of Trust.

_____________________________________ Dated: ______________

Tommy Trustmaker, Grantor and Trustee

_____________________________________ Dated: ______________

Tammy Trustmaker, Grantor and Trustee


CERTIFICATE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF NOTARY PUBLIC

State of ______________________

)

)

ss.

County of ______________________

)

On __________________, before me, _________________________, a notary public for said state, personally appeared Tommy Trustmaker and Tammy Trustmaker, proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the persons whose names are subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that they executed the same in their authorized capacities and that by their signatures on the instrument the persons, or the entity upon behalf of which the persons acted, executed the instrument.

Witness my hand and official seal.

_____________________________________

NOTARY PUBLIC

My commission expires __________________.


Schedule A

SHARED PROPERTY PLACED IN TRUST

1. All the furniture in the house at 3320 Windmill Road, Auburn, California.

2. The condominium at 19903 Forest Way, #43, Wawona, California.

3. The house at 3320 Windmill Road, Auburn, California.


Schedule B

TAMMY TRUSTMAKER'S SEPARATE PROPERTY PLACED IN TRUST

1. Scudder International Fund Account 993-222-1.

2. The four-volume American stamp collection kept at 3320 Windmill Road, Auburn, California.


Schedule C

TOMMY TRUSTMAKER'S SEPARATE PROPERTY PLACED IN TRUST

1. Account No. 3301-A94 at International Brokers, San Francisco, California. 

 

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