Signing the Trust Documents


Please review all documents for:
* errors, mis-spellings,
* the Trustee(s) – person(s) in control
* the Beneficiaries – the heirs

We suggest you sign all documents immediately. Even if you need corrections or modifications, signed documents can protect you until revised documents are completed.


Real Estate Deeds in Trust

Deed(s) to the trust need to be completed. They require a signature in front of a Notary. Then, a deed needs to be recorded at the County Recorder. The trust is not protecting the real estate until the Deed is completed and recorded.

Ownership of Other Assets in Trust

The items intended to be owned and protected by the trust must be identified. You can do this by making a list and attaching it to the trust. If the items are expensive or rare, the description needs to be very descriptive. High value items should also be formally transferred by a “Bill of Sale” or a “Transfer Agreement”. You could also use photos or a video for identification. Sign them and assemble them into your trust folder for your records. Most of the transfers do not get sent anywhere, but are retained in the trust folder.

Stocks, Insurance, and Retirement Trusts

The agent or stock broker will re-title the account to owned as beneficiary or the trust name.

Bank Accounts in Trust

It is NOT necessary to create a bank account for each asset or trust. If you need a bank trust account, it can be set up in a trust name. Most banks will allow you to rename your accounts into the “Trust Name”. Some banks require starting a new account.

Trust Accounting

There are many methods of banking. The usual solution is to create a master bank trust account. Like a manager of many real estate units would maintain, the transactions are all assigned as to the proper unit. There would be an attached definition of each income or expense. This is a common practice and is called “Checkbook Accounting”.


Creating individual reports can then be done from the master list of transactions. One popular computer program is called Quicken, but there are many others. Ask your tax preparer to suggest a program, but be sure to mark and define every deposit and payment with the item it is associated with.

Trusts and Recording the Documents

Deeds must get recorded with the County Recorder. Optionally, the “CERTIFICATION OF TRUST EXISTENCE AND POWERS” can be publically recorded at the Recorders Office in the local county. Public recording discloses minimal information and costs about fifteen dollars.

Private recording with is always a good idea for total proof of origination, insurance, privacy, and asset protection. Recording with strictly limits release of information only to yourself or your authorized and trusted list of family. A requirement for total privacy. Recording costs about twenty dollars and legally certifies the trust.

Copies of Records in Trust

Copies of Deeds can be obtained from the County Recorder. Copies from cannot be obtained by anyone without your formal permission.

Privacy with Trusts

Privacy in our computer world is becoming difficult. The people of the modern world have already created many public records, starting with birth, marriage, drivers’ license, purchase records, subscriptions, warranties, cars, boats, airplanes, credit, banking, and real estate. It is possible to create a new branch of privacy for any individual thing, such as an asset, that is totally separate from your individual person. It can consist of an investment, a vehicle, bank account, real estate, or whatever. The laws have no effect on eliminating this new privacy, provided that you are not involved in criminal activities. This is exactly the same as the privacy of one corporation (such as Target Stores) private from another corporation (such as Office Depot). In our example the private information of each is private. The public information of each does NOT disclose the names or home addresses or relatives or financial information of the managers or of the stockholders. In fact, the burden of disclosure that those public companies are governed by does not affect individual privacy, just makes them disclose formal reports of public information. On a small level, a trust provides privacy of the individuals involved. It also provides protection, just like stockholders are protected from lawsuits against the corporation.


The recorded documents only report the information on that document; usually:

  1. The legal description of the property transferred,
  2. Who transferred it,
  3. That a trust received it, and
  4. The mailing address.

With most legal papers you may need a notary. You could learn how to become a notary in CA and be able to notarize document yourself. You can become a notary and start a new career.