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To establish a revocable living trust, a document called a declaration of trust is prepared and executed. A declaration of trust sets forth the terms and conditions of the revocable living trust. Assets are then transferred from the settlor to the trustee of the revocable living trust, a position customarily held by the settlor. Effectively, the transfer of assets is made from the settlor to himself or herself as trustee of the revocable living trust. The settlor / grantor, acting as trustee, then administers the revocable living trust for his or her own benefit as well as the benefit of at least one other person, a beneficiary. Though the revocable living trust is managed for the benefit of beneficiaries as well as the grantor/creator, beneficiaries get nothing until the settlor / grantor dies. Upon the settlor's / grantor's death, the successor trustee becomes the trustee and passes revocable living trust property quickly and confidentially to the beneficiaries without probate.

     1. Execute a Declaration of Trust (this is the form that creates the revocable living trust) with yourself as the trustee. Choose a successor trustee to manage your trust after your death.

     2. Transfer / place property and other assets into the revocable living trust. Most valuable assets should be transferred to a revocable living trust.  This would include real estate (including homes), business interests, money market accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, precious metals, gems, antiques, artwork, royalty contracts, patents, copyrights, numismatic as well as other valuable collections and other business interests.  See "What assets can I transfer to my revocable living trust" for detailed information.

     3. Make provisions for the successor trustee(s) to pay medical expenses in the event of your disability and funeral expenses upon your death.

     4. Designate beneficiaries of the revocable living trust property.