The first step in revoking a living trust is to remove all assets from the living trust and transfer them back to the name of the original settlor or settlors, also called the grantor or grantors, who created the trust. This step is essential and must be completed properly.
Depending on the amount of property in the trust, transferring property out of the living trust can be a big project. For example, if real estate is titled in the name of the trust, a deed will need to be created for each parcel of real estate documenting the transfer back to the settlor or grantor. Each deed must be filed and recorded with the appropriate county clerk’s office along with the required fees. Trust transfer deeds, quitclaim deeds, and other property deeds should be prepared by a licensed attorney.
Other living trust property must also be transferred back to the settlor or grantor. Bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and safe deposit boxes holding trust property should be closed or retitled in the correct name. Create a checklist of all assets titled in the name of the trust to ensure none are missed during this process. Note: while closing a trust account is a necessary step in revoking a living trust, closing a trust account by itself does not terminate a living trust.The next step in revoking a living trust is for the settlor or grantor to complete a Revocation of Living Trust form like the one shown on this page or another document containing language sufficient to indicate the intention of the settlor or grantor to revoke the trust.
Before You Revoke a Living Trust
Before creating the paperwork to revoke a living trust, make sure you have the right to revoke it. Review the trust document thoroughly. Consult an attorney if you have questions about whether you can revoke your trust. See finding an attorney.
Revocation of Living Trust Form
If you are revoking a living trust, you need to execute a Revocation of Living Trust form that complies with applicable state laws. The document revoking a living trust should typically contain the following: 1. The full legal name of the trust; 2. The full legal name of all settlors or grantors; 3. The full legal name of the current trustee or trustees; 4. The date the original trust agreement was executed; 5. The date on which the trust agreement was amended or modified in a Trust Restatement or Trust Amendment, if applicable; 6. The city, county, and state where the settlors or grantors are domiciled; 7. A statement that the trust instrument provides that the settlor or grantor can revoke the trust; 8. A statement that the settlor or grantor desires or wishes to revoke the trust; 9. A statement that the settlor or grantor revokes the trust in its entirety; 10. A statement that there is no substitution for the trust that is being revoked.Under each signature, it should indicate the capacity of the person signing. For example, Jenah Miller, Grantor or Jenah Miller, Trustee. If the grantor and trustee are the same person, the signature line would read Jenah Miller, Grantor and Trustee.In addition, ensure the revocation of trust document meets all other requirements to be enforceable under applicable state laws. State laws vary regarding trusts. To find trust laws for a particular state, go to Trust Law.The settlor or grantor should sign and date the Revocation of Living Trust form or other revocation document in the presence of a notary. If there is more than one settlor or grantor, all settlors or grantors should sign the revocation. Store the notarized revocation of living trust in a secure location along with the original living trust agreement, restatements, amendments, and any related estate planning documents. For information on dissolving a trust after trust administration, see how to end a trust.
New Estate Planning Documents are Required
Revoking your living trust can leave major gaps or holes in your estate plan. It can also create confusion about whom you intend to inherit your estate and the person you want to be in charge of settling your estate. Revoking a trust agreement without executing new estate planning documents as a replacement can lead to will and trust disputes or costly probate proceedings.When you make a living trust, your will is typically drafted in conjunction with the living trust. Once your living trust is revoked, your existing will probably will not provide for the distribution of your estate in the manner you intend, because pour over wills are typically drafted on the assumption that your entire estate will pass according to your living trust. See types of wills.If you revoke your living trust, consult an estate planning lawyer promptly about updating your estate plan. In addition to drafting a new will, you may need to take other steps to modify your estate plan after your living trust is revoked.