Q: I'm in Calif. and I'm doing a Revocable Living Trust. My grown kids are Trustees. Do they have to sign this doc?
I'm confused about how many people need to be in front of my Notary Public. My wife and I as "Grantors" - OK .
My grown kids ??? Both of them are named in the document as Successor Trustees or just trustees. Please specify if all of need to be present in front of the Notary during the signing.
A: Typically only the Grantors and current Trustees need to sign. However, before signing a trust, be sure to review it with an attorney to ensure that it does what you need it to, and that there are no problems or unforeseen consequences. Keep in mind that most individuals also need other documents in addition to a trust to meet their needs, including a pour over Will and a Durable Power of Attorney. You should consult with an estate planning attorney to ensure that your documents are doing what you intend for them to do.
A: To answer your question, in the normal situation, only the grantors need to sign a trust in front of the notary. But usually estate plans involve more than one document. For example, if you own real estate, there should be a grant deed and the associated documents as well as the trust document and certification of trust, among other documents. If someone has a right in the real estate and is giving up that right, then that person would also need to sign the document. The only way an attorney could give you a specific answer to your question would be to see the documents that you are signing. We can tell you what happens in many situations, but that does not necessarily mean that the answer applies to your particular set of documents. Hopefully you are not drafting the trust on your own. There are certain areas of the law in which people can use forms to get by, but estate planning is not one of them. Using a plain English word that (unknowingly) is a legal term of art gets people into trouble all the time. If you want to protect your family from having to go through probate, you should work with an attorney to be sure you are on the right track. Best wishes! Julie
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