How Can I Get A Copy Of That California Living Trust?

October 15, 2009 by Mitchell A. Port

Who should get a copy of your California living trust? In a previous blog, the California Probate Code was quoted as follows:

"When a revocable trust or any portion of a revocable trust becomes irrevocable because of the death of one or more of the settlors of the trust, or because, by the express terms of the trust, the trust becomes irrevocable within one year of the death of a settlor because of a contingency related to the death of one or more of the settlors of the trust, the trustee shall provide a true and complete copy of the terms of the irrevocable trust, or irrevocable portion of the trust, to any beneficiary of the trust who requests it and to any heir of a deceased settlor who requests it."

Other than those mentioned in the Probate Code, no one else has the right to a copy of your trust upon your death. The terms of your trust remain private.

For your own peace of mind, you may want to give a copy of your trust to your successor trustee. You are not obligated to do that. Some people choose to give copies to their children who are the successor trustees and the only beneficiaries. Other clients of mine keep their trust private.

One of the advantages of having a revocable living trust is that it is private and not a public record. No one has the right to see the provisions of your trust unless you want them to.

When you transfer your investment and other accounts into the name of your trust, often you will take your trust into the financial institution and show them that you have one. Simply give the bank officer the first page and last page of your trust. You can also give the institution a copy of your Certification of Trust; the Certification is a document showing the name of your trust, listing the trust’s powers, and the current trustees. You do not have to provide any financial institution with a copy of your trust.

Contact Mitchell A. Port if you have any questions about your revocable living trust or any other estate planning issues. Keep the problems of death and taxes to a minimum.