How to Transfer Property Held in a Trust

Property held in a trust is a method to protect and preserve property for the trust's beneficiaries. Various types of trusts exist, including revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, charitable remainder trusts and many more. Trusts act as an estate planning device, similar to a will. Unlike a will, however, a trust is not required to go through probate court. As a result, you will not incur the substantial probate fees as you would if you had a will. Transferring property out of a trust requires the permission of the trustee.

  1. Personal Property

    • 1

      Create a document called an "Assignment of Personal Property." Write down the name of the trust, the trustee and the party to whom you are transferring the property. Describe in as much detail as possible the personal property to be transferred. Date and sign the assignment as the trustee. Include language that generally states that the trustee, on behalf of the trust, assigns and transfers to the third party certain personal property. If you are not the trustee, you must obtain the trustee's signature.

    • 2

      Ask a notary public to notarize the assignment. The notary will usually charge a small fee, usually under $25 as of 2010. The notary public will stamp and sign your assignment. Assignment is effectuated upon notarization.

    • 3

      Physically give the personal property to the transferee. This act completes the legal transfer of property held in a trust.

    Real Property

    • 1

      Obtain a grant deed form from a law library or your local public library.

    • 2

      Fill out the grant deed with the name of the trust, the trustee and the transferee. Write down the legal description of the real property. Real property descriptions are available at the county recorder's office. Sign and date the grant deed as the trustee.

    • 3

      Ask a notary public to notarize the grant deed. The notary will usually charge a small fee, usually under $25 as of 2010. The transfer of real property is effectuated upon notarization.

Tips & Warnings

  • This article does not constitute legal advice and does not take into account the nuances of state law and your specific situation. See an attorney.
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  • "Wills, Trusts and Estates Examples & Explanations"; Gerry W. Beyer; 2007
  • "Real Property in a Nutshell"; Roger H. Bernhardt and Ann Burkhart; 2010
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

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