One of the benefits of having a Revocable Living Trust is the privacy it affords you when it comes to your estate plan. Not only does your Trust allow you to keep your property out of probate, and avoid “Living Probate” in the event that you become disabled, it also keeps your estate plan away from prying eyes.
No Filing Requirements
Unlike a Will, which has to be filed with the court at the start of the probate process, a Revocable Living Trust generally does not have to be filed or recorded anywhere. Unless there’s a lawsuit concerning your trust, it won’t become a matter of public record. This means that only the people who need to know the contents of your trust – like your trustee and your beneficiaries – will have access to it.
Memorandum of Trust
There may be situations where a financial institution needs to make sure your trust is legitimate before it will allow a transaction. And, if you transfer real estate into or out of the trust, basic information about the trust will need to be recorded along with the real estate deed. Even in these situations, though, the full contents of your trust does not need to be revealed.
Instead, your attorney will prepare a document called a Memorandum of Trust. It lists the essential information about the trust – the name and date of the trust, your name as trust maker, along with the Trustee’s name and a brief description of the Trustee’s powers. The Memorandum of Trust is then provided to your bank or recorded along with your real estate deed. This keeps the actual terms of your Trust private while allowing the Trust to be effectively used.
An estate planning attorney can answer any questions you might have about Revocable Living Trusts.