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Can I Write My Own Living Trust?

DIY (do-it-yourself) projects are in abundance online. If you want to learn how to build a piece of furniture for your house, fix an automobile problem or create a useful craft, there are endless options. But what if you want to DIY a living trust? Is it possible? Is it advisable?

Yes, it is possible to create your own revocable living trust (revocable meaning that you have the ability to change it whenever you wish). Here are some of the very basic steps that must be followed:

  1. Prepare the living trust process by downloading the proper forms.
  2. Specify the following individuals in your trust: the trustee (person/bank/lawyer to manage your assets and distribute them after you pass away) and beneficiaries (the people who will receive your inheritance)
  3. Choose what assets you want to place into your trust and change the legal ownership of those assets to the trust.
  4. Include all rules regarding how you want your estate handled while you are alive and how you want your estate distributed after you pass.
  5. Execute the trust by signing it in front of witnesses and having it notarized (if necessary in your state).
  6. Place the trust in a safe location and inform your family members of its existence.

Is it advisable to create your own living trust? Maybe, maybe not.  However, in our practice, when we have encountered DIY trusts, they typically do not do what the clients think they do or worse yet, when the person who drafted his or her own trust passes away, there is so much ambiguity with the document a trust litigation ensues.  The beneficiaries of the estate pay way more to a probate litigation lawyer to litigate the ambiguities than they would have paid an experienced estate planning lawyer to draft a trust for them.

When it comes to your financial legacy – and the protection of the loved ones you will someday leave behind – you don’t want to leave the estate planning process to chance. It’s safer to invest in the proper drafting of a living trust by a professional who can help raise questions and identify situations you may not have considered and potentially save your beneficiaries from a trust litigation action after you pass away. If you are considering making a living will in Colorado, the experienced Denver estate planning lawyers at The Brown Law Firm, LLC can help. Even if you just want to ask questions to find out if we are the right fit for you, contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to meet with our experts.