Do I, as grantor, still maintain the power the trustee has? 23 Answers as of June 06, 2013

I used Rocket Lawyer’s documents to put together a Revocable Living Trust. 1. I, as grantor, put my mother’s name as the trustee. Do I, as grantor, still maintain the power the trustee has? Or, do I need to declare myself as a trustee as well?

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Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
You should amend the trust and add yourself as a trustee or amend the trust to make yourself the trustee and your mother the successor trustee. This has to be done properly so you may want to get some help from an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/6/2013
Noel Law Firm | Elizabeth V. Noel
It depends on the wording in the trust. Generally, the grantor is not the trustee. Have an attorney review the document.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 6/6/2013
Law Office of Edward M. Burgh, APC | Edward M. Burgh
Unless you are named as the Trustee you do not have the Trustee's powers. The Trust probably has a provision allowing you to amend the trust, If you have your as a co-trustee with yourself you need a provision as to what to do if the co-trustee do not agree what to do.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/4/2013
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
Without seeing the trust, I cannot answer your question. The old saying still remains you get what you pay for in life. Your question should be directed to Rocket Lawyer since it is their form, you are representing yourself in preparation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/6/2013
Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
You need to be trustee also.
Answer Applies to: Delaware
Replied: 6/6/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    You would may wish to name yourself as a trustee. Maybe name your mother as successor trustee in the case of your death. The duty of the trustee is owed specifically to the creator of the trust (or settlor).
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    The grantor does not have the trustee's powers. The trustee does not have the grantor's powers. Ask Rocket.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    It sounds like this is a bit of a mess. No, the grantor does not have the power of trustee. The trustee has powers like an owner, subject to the terms of the trust. The grantor only has whatever rights are reserved in the trust agreement. This is a very poor way to do your estate planning. At the VERY least, you should have all this reviewed by a lawyer to make sure you have not created a huge problem. There are other documents you need, as well, and you need to make sure that the trust was properly funded. Otherwise, the money you "saved" on not setting this up the right way will be more than spent on fixing things, down the road.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C.
    Arthur H. Geffen, P.C. | Arthur Geffen
    The Grantor does NOT have the same power as the trustee. However, if you made it a living trust, it should be revocable, so you could change it. I would suggest you call a local estate planning attorney. While you may save money now, someone is going to pay down the road.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    For a revocable living trust to be a Grantor trust you must be the Grantor, the trustee and the beneficiary. Because it is revocable you can change anything in the trust document. You should obtain a Georgia Lawyer to review the trust document and answer your questions if you use an internet source. Most of those documents are boilerplate and must be changed to meet Georgia Law.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    It's hard to imagine what a "Rocket Lawyer" document might say. First answer, read the document. A serious revocable living trust will reserve to the grantor (in Oregon, we now use the term "settlor") the right to revoke or amend the trust. The trustee has certain duties and powers. So you can do a trust amendment naming yourself co-trustee (is your mother doing things as trustee that you don't like? maybe remove her as trustee?) or as the sole trustee. Has all your property been transferred to your mother as trustee of the trust? If you remove her as trustee, make sure you transfer all the property to you as trustee of the trust. There are many ways that a revocable living trust can be ineffective, or actually mess up your estate plan. Are you sure that you want to trust the disposition of your estate to a do-it-yourself plan?
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    Generally speaking, once the grantor ( settlor ) of a trust appoints a trustee that person is the one who has control over the management and disposition of the assets of the trust according to the powers given the trustee. If you wished to maintain the same powers you would have to either amend the trust or revoke it and establish a new one with your mother and yourself as co -trustees.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    This question highlights probably the major drawback to using an online program like Rocket Lawyer. It can't give you the personalized advice an attorney can give. What you are asking is like asking a doctor, "hey I got a do-it-yourself kit for taking out my wife's appendix. I just need to know if I cut here or here."
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    You need to hire an attorney to explain and assist you with any needed amendments to your trust, or possibly revocation. Unless someone reviews what you signed, you cannot get effective advice. I oftentimes explain to do it yourself that it is oftentimes less expensive to have an attorney draft everything rather than revise what was done. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
    The grantor creates the trust. The trustee administers the trust. If you want control over what goes into the trust, you need to be both grantor and trustee. You can name someone as the successor trustee to you, so if you become incapacitated or die, that person can take over and administer the trust.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    Shimberg and Crohn, P.C. | Jonathan Shimberg
    Without examining the document one can not provide an intelligent answer. It depends on what powers were reserved to you as Settlor.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
    Right now your mother is the sole trustee, so she is the only one who can manage the trust. You should add yourself as trustee, or co-trustee. Since you have a revocable trust, you can do an amendment to make that change.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/6/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You need to be a Trustee so that you can "manage" the Trust.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/4/2013
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
    You relinquished power to your mom. This is not an exempt grantor trust under the Internal Revenue Code. You need to get an EIN and file a separate US Fiduciary Income Tax Return. . I am sure that is not what you had in mind when you filled in the blanks of the do it yourself document. Seek professional advice concerning the document.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/4/2013
    Zahaby Law Offices
    Zahaby Law Offices | Jon A. Zahaby, Esq.
    You need to grant yourself the power as trustee in a revocable living trust if you wish to have trustee powers.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 6/4/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    Well, you have encountered one of the many problems with Rocket Lawyer and Legal Zoom. Generally, you would be the trustee of your own revocable grantor trust. The reason to work with a competent lawyer specializing in trusts is to avoid these problems. You can examine the trust you created and see if you retained the right to replace the trustee. If the form is fatally defective (as many DIY forms are) you can revoke the trust and work with a qualified attorney to create one for you that meets you needs.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/4/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Clearly the question you are asking shows you are over your head and really should speak with an attorney to draft your trust. It sounds like the way you are drafting it you are making your mother trustee now and if that is the case you have no power over anything in the trust.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/4/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    You need to be the trustee.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/4/2013
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