With a Living Trust as the central document in your estate plan, the trust assets are transferred in a fashion similar to a Will.
  1. Overview: A living trust is administered without the supervision of a court.
  2. Initial procedures: Your successor trustee carries out the terms of your living trust.
  3. Termination of the trust: After the trust assets are distributed, the trust is terminated.


If you have a Living Trust, your successor trustee will need to take certain steps in carrying out your wishes. In general, the trustee has duties that are similar to an executor who is carrying out the terms of a Will. However, the trustee’s duties are handled without supervision from the court administered probate process. The trustee is guided by the terms of your Living Trust and the general terms of your state’s laws regarding trusts. Usually, these state laws provide only general requirements regarding trusts and trustees, and do not set forth specific requirements that must be followed at the time of your death.

Make document Start Your Living Trust It’s simple with step-by-step guidance.

Initial Procedures

Upon your death, the successor trustee begins the process of carrying out the terms of your Living Trust that provide for distributions to your beneficiaries. This process includes appointing the successor trustee, resolving challenges to the trust, obtaining a federal identification number, and opening a checking account in the trust’s name. Unlike Wills, there is no requirement to provide notice to heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors for living trusts.

Terminating the Trust

After the successor trustee has completed distributions of the trust assets in accordance with the terms of the living trust, the trust can be terminated. Unlike the probate process, the successor trustee is not required to file a final report with the probate court. However, it is appropriate for the successor trustee to provide a final accounting to the trust beneficiaries to show that the trust assets were distributed properly.

Many living trusts have trust shares that continue beyond the grantor’s death to provide for spouses, children, and others. If that is the case, the termination of the trust will not occur at the time of the grantor’s death. Rather, the termination will occur in accordance with the provisions of the trust shares. For example, the trust may continue until the death of a spouse or until children reach a specified age.

Make document Start Your Living Trust It’s simple with step-by-step guidance.

Make document Start Your Living Trust It’s simple with step-by-step guidance.