What Am I Missing From My Trust?

When you create a trust for your family and notarize it there may still be some work to do. Here are some tips.

There are many types of trusts but when you create a trust for your family, generally, it is a revocable trust. It may contain trusts within it but this just some information for the revocable family trust.

Trust Transfer Deed

You created your trust as a part of an estate plan and if you had real property then a deed should have been drafted for each property to change the title of ownership within the deed from you to you as trustee of the trust. This deed must then be recorded with the respective county of the physical location of the property with a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report. For example, if you had property in San Diego County then you would file the deed with the San Diego County Recorder’s Office. If this was not done then we can help.


If you refinanced your house after creating a trust then it is unlikely that the bank titled the new deed in the name of the trust. Most of the time after refinancing the deed will be titled in your name as single or in joint tenancy, depending if you are married or not. If you are refinancing make sure that the bank puts the new deed in the name of the trust with you as trustees. If you are unsure if this was done then Coastal Pacific Law is happy to pull the deed for you if you contact us.

Funding and Additional Assets

Funding is a term that estate planning attorneys use to describe the process of adding assets to your trust, i.e. homework. My clients do not like homework and grumble when I send them home with questionnaires but it need to be done. There are two tasks that must be completed to add any asset to a trust: 1) It must be listed on the Trust Asset Schedule, hint: look around the last page of your trust for the Asset Schedule or in the front. If you do not see one then let us know; and 2) You must fill out paperwork with the respective organization, for example deeds for property, forms for banks and forms for the Department of Motor Vehicles, etc.

If you acquire additional assets during your lifetime, which you should. Then you will need to most likely re-title these assets unless they are assets with a beneficiary designation, such as, life insurance and retirement accounts. If the new asset is real property then you will need to file a trust deed as discussed above. If you have a rental property with a contract versus a deed then you can list it in your trust and contact the rental property organization to file the property paperwork.

Boats, cars and other assets of high value need to be listed in the trust as well as dealt with through the proper organization. For example, if you purchased an RV with a high value then you will want to fill out the proper Department of Motor Vehicles form.

Has Anything Changed

If your children are grown, a successor trustee has passed away or another life event has occurred then it is time to look at your trust. For example, when children are minors you may have listed your mother as trustee but now that your children are grown, it might be time to change the trustees. We offer complimentary trust reviews so schedule a meeting today.

Coastal Pacific Law attorneys are experienced in estate planning, and can help with your trust administration, probate administration, wills and trusts. To schedule a complimentary consultation, call (619)786-6563, or fill out a Contact Request Form.

This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.

Photo by Breno Machado