To show you what a living trust could look like, here is a sample trust, using fictional names and situations. Your trust document will look 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.
Part 1. Trust Name
This revocable living trust shall be known as the Tammy Trustmaker Revocable Living Trust.
Part 2. Declaration of Trust
Tammy Trustmaker, called the grantor, declares that she has transferred and delivered to the trustee all her interest in the property described in Schedule A attached to this Declaration of Trust. All of that property is called the "trust property." The trustee hereby acknowledges receipt of the trust property and agrees to hold the trust property in trust, according to this Declaration of Trust.
The 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. Amendment and Revocation
A. Amendment or Revocation by Grantor
The grantor may amend or revoke this trust at any time, without notifying any beneficiary. An amendment must be made in writing and signed by the grantor. Revocation may be in writing or any manner allowed by law.
B. Amendment or Revocation by Other Person
The power to revoke or amend this trust is personal to the grantor. A conservator, guardian or other person shall not exercise it on behalf of the grantor, unless the grantor specifically grants a power to revoke or amend this trust in a Durable Power of Attorney.
Part 5. Payments From Trust During Grantor's Lifetime
The trustee shall pay to or use for the benefit of the grantor as much of the net income and principal of the trust property as the grantor requests. Income shall be paid to the grantor at least annually. Income accruing in or paid to trust accounts shall be deemed to have been paid to the grantor.
Part 6. Trustees
Tammy Trustmaker shall be the trustee of this trust.
B. Trustee's Responsibilities
The trustee in office shall serve as trustee of all trusts created under this Declaration of Trust, including children's subtrusts.
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.
D. Successor Trustee
Upon the death or incapacity of Tammy Trustmaker, the trustee of this trust and of any children's subtrusts created by it shall be Tim Torres. If Tim Torres is unable or unwilling to serve as successor trustee, Ann Heron shall serve as trustee.
E. Resignation of Trustee
Any trustee in office may resign at any time by signing a notice of resignation. The resignation shall be delivered to the person or institution who is either named in this Declaration of Trust, or appointed by the trustee under Section F of this Part, to next serve as the trustee.
F. 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.
No bond shall be required for any trustee named in this Declaration of Trust.
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.
I. Liability of Trustee
With respect to the exercise or non-exercise 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 7. 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 Arizona 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The power to receive additional property from any source and add it to any trust created by this Declaration of Trust.
- The power to employ and pay reasonable fees to accountants, lawyers or investment experts for information or advice relating to the trust.
- The power to deposit and hold trust funds in both interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing accounts.
- The power to deposit funds in bank or other accounts uninsured by FDIC coverage.
- The power to enter into electronic fund transfer or safe deposit arrangements with financial institutions.
10. The power to continue any business of the grantor.
11. The power to institute or defend legal actions concerning this trust or the grantor's 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 8. Incapacity of Grantor
If the grantor becomes physically or mentally incapacitated, whether or not a court has declared the grantor incompetent or in need of a conservator or guardian, the successor trustee named in Part 6 shall be trustee.
The determination of the grantor's capacity to manage this trust shall be made by Celia Gutierrez. The successor trustee shall, if necessary, ask Celia Gutierrez 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 Celia Gutierrez, the successor trustee may request an opinion from Danny Wolfson and may rely on that opinion.
If the successor trustee is also unable, after making reasonable efforts, to obtain a written opinion from Danny Wolfson, the successor trustee may request an opinion from Cyndi Steinberg and may rely on that opinion.
If the successor trustee is unable, after making reasonable efforts, to obtain a written opinion from Celia Gutierrez, Danny Wolfson or Cyndi Steinberg, the successor trustee may request an opinion from a physician who examines the grantor, and may rely on that opinion.
The trustee shall use any amount of trust income or trust property necessary for the grantor's proper health care, support, maintenance, comfort and welfare, in accordance with the grantor's accustomed manner of living. Any income not spent for the benefit of the grantor shall be accumulated and added to the trust property. Income shall be paid to the grantor at least annually. Income accruing in or paid to trust accounts shall be deemed to have been paid to the grantor.
The successor trustee shall manage the trust until the grantor is again able to manage her affairs. The determination of the grantor's capacity to again manage this trust shall be made in the manner specified just above.
Part 9. Death of a Grantor
When the grantor dies, this trust shall become irrevocable. It may not be amended or altered except as provided for by this Declaration of Trust. It may be terminated only by the distributions authorized by this Declaration of Trust.
The trustee may pay out of trust property such amounts as necessary for payment of the grantor's debts, estate taxes and expenses of the grantor's last illness and funeral.
Part 10. Beneficiaries
At the death of the grantor, the trustee shall distribute the trust property as follows:
Tim Torres shall be given Tammy Trustmaker's interest in 100 shares of Applied Dynamics stock. If Tim Torres does not survive Tammy Trustmaker, that property shall be given to Celia Gutierrez.
Bobby Blueston shall be given Tammy Trustmaker's interest in the trust property not otherwise specifically and validly disposed of by this Part. If Bobby Blueston does not survive Tammy Trustmaker, that property shall be given to Tim Torres.
Part 11. 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. Custodianships Under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act
Any property to which Bobby Blueston becomes entitled under Part 10 of this Declaration of Trust shall be given to Tim Torres, as custodian for Bobby Blueston under the Arizona Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, until Bobby Blueston reaches the age of 21. If Tim Torres is unable or ceases to serve as custodian, Ann Heron shall serve as custodian.
Part 13. Grantor's Right to Homestead Tax Exemption
If the grantor's principal residence is held in trust, the grantor has 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 the grantor a beneficial interest in the property and to ensure that the grantor does not lose eligibility for a state homestead tax exemption for which she 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 Grantor
I certify that I 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 trustee, and I approve the Declaration of Trust.
_____________________________________ Dated: ______________
Tammy Trustmaker, Grantor and Trustee
CERTIFICATE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF NOTARY PUBLIC
State of ______________________
County of ______________________
On _________________, ______ before me, _________________________________, a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared _________________________________, personally known to me (or proved on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that she/he executed the same in her/his authorized capacity, and that by her/his signature on the instrument the person, or the entity upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of ______________________
My commission expires: ___________________
Property Placed in Trust
- 100 shares of Applied Dynamics stock.
- House at 2100 Fortuna Street, Phoenix, Arizona.
- Condominium at 57-A Alpine Way, Tahoe City, California.