Revoking Your Living Trust

If you're like most people, amending or restating your living trust will take care of your changing circumstances over the years and you will never need to revoke it. But there are, of course, a few exceptions to that rule.

You can revoke your living trust at any time. Revoking a living trust (unlike revoking a will) requires some work: You must transfer ownership of all the trust property out of your name as trustee.

Who Can Revoke Your Trust

If you created an individual living trust, you can revoke it at any time.

Either grantor can revoke a shared trust, wiping out all terms of the trust. The trust property is returned to each person according to how they owned it before transferring it to the trust.

EXAMPLE: Yvonne and Andre make a living trust together. Each transfers separately owned property to the trust. They also transfer ownership of their house, which they own together, to the trust. Later Yvonne revokes the living trust. She transfers the property she owned back to herself and the property her husband owned back to him. The co-owned property goes back to both of them.

The trust document cannot be revoked by someone acting on your behalf unless you have specifically granted that authority. If you made a shared trust, and you are the survivor, you can revoke only your revocable trust.

How to Revoke Your Trust

To revoke your living trust, follow these steps:

Step 1: Transfer ownership of trust property from yourself as trustee back to yourself. Basically, you must reverse the process you followed when you transferred ownership of the property to yourself as trustee. (See Transferring Property to the Trust.) You can make the transfer because of your authority as trustee of the trust.

Step 2: A revocation prints out with your trust document. If you did not save the revocation that printed with your original trust document and your subscription is still active, you can return to your Nolo software to print another.

Step 3: Complete the Revocation of Trust by filling in the date, and then sign it in front of a notary public.

Step 4: If you registered your trust with the local court (a procedure authorized in certain states; see Signing, Storing and Registering Your Trust), notify the court that the trust has been terminated.

Sample Revocation


I, Richard Josephson, hereby revoke the Richard Josephson Revocable Living Trust, created by Declaration of Trust signed August 18, 20xx, according to the power reserved to me by Part 4 of the Declaration of Trust.

All property held in the trust shall be returned to the grantor.

_____________________________________ Dated: ______________

Richard Josephson, Grantor and Trustee