What Documents Do You Need to Set Up a Living Trust?

If you want to ensure correct asset distribution after your passing, a living trust can be a great tool to implement. However, you often need to have specific documents that will ensure the living trust is legal and binding. Discover the important documents you need to set up your trust.

Living Trust Document

The living trust document will outline all the elements of the trust itself. For example, the living trust will set up:

  • Assets: What things do you want to transfer to the trust? These assets can range from real estate property to financial accounts.
  • Beneficiaries: Who do you want to pass your assets to upon your death? The trust will outline the various beneficiaries you want to have.
  • Trustees: Who do you want to manage and control your trust for you? A trustee can be anyone from a child to a financial professional.

The living trust document must follow specific state rules, so a legal professional is often necessary to prepare, look over, and store your living trust for you. Also, to be valid and authentic, a living trust might need witnesses or a notary.

Asset Documents

Because the purpose of the living trust is to ensure that certain assets go to specific people after a person’s death, proof of those assets is necessary. When you have decided what assets to include, you need to gather the documents relating to those assets. Discover what type of asset documents you might need to have for your living trust.


If your asset requires a title, then you need to have a copy of this to show your ownership. Assets that might require a title can include vehicles, homes, or business rights.


To ensure that you safely transfer your ownership of an asset to the trust, a deed is usually necessary. The deed outlines that you are legally able to transfer the asset and that the asset can legally belong in the trust, as well as a description of the asset that you will transfer to the trust.


Some financial or investment accounts you own might have a certificate authenticating their existence, proving your ownership over them, and outlining the exact details about them. Financial accounts that include certification can include stock and bond accounts, as well as certificates of deposit.


Want to include your life insurance in your living trust? If so, then make sure to have a copy of your exact life insurance policy, which outlines the coverage, terms, and payout of this insurance once you have passed.

Property Descriptions

For anything personal that does not have a title that you want to put in a trust, a general property description is often acceptable proof. This document should either include specific items you want to transfer, such as jewelry or artwork, or a general overall description, such as all your personal belongings.

Transfer Documents

Specific assets, like bank accounts, might require additional documents to transfer them to the trust. For example, you might need to fill out a Letter of Instruction and a Certificate of Trust. The Letter of Instruction will relate your intention to transfer the bank account to the trust. The Certificate of Trust specifies details about your trust.

Living Trust Help

Setting up a living trust can seem complicated and stressful, but it does not have to be. Instead, turn to the legal document experts at Legal Document Assistants. We can help you understand what documents you need and the steps to follow to successfully and effectively put together your living trust. Contact us today with any questions or concerns you have. We look forward to helping you.

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys. We can not provide legal advice. We can not represent you in court. We can only prepare documents at your direction. If you need legal advice or you need an attorney, we can refer you to an attorney within our cooperating attorney network.

Posted onAuthorAngela JonesCategoriesLegal Document Preparer0 Comments

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