GENERAL REVOCABLE TRUSTS
Revocable trust--General form
Trust agreement made __________ [agreement date], between __________
[name of settlor], of
__________ [settlor address], County of __________ [settlor county], State of California, as
settlor, and __________ [name of trustee], of __________ [trustee address], County of
__________ [trustee county], State of __________, as trustee.
In consideration of the mutual covenants and promises set forth herein, settlor and trustee agree:
Settlor hereby assigns, transfers and conveys to trustee the
property described in Schedule A,
annexed and incorporated by this reference. Receipt of such property is hereby acknowledged by
trustee. The property shall be held by trustee in trust on the terms and conditions herein set forth.
Revocation and Amendment
Settlor reserves the right at any time, by an instrument in
writing delivered to trustee to revoke or
amend this trust in whole or in part. The duties and liabilities of trustee shall under no
circumstances be substantially increased by any amendment hereunder except with trustee's
__________ [type of consent, such as: written] consent.
Additions to Trust Estate
Settlor reserves the right for __________ [settlor himself
or herself] or any other person to
increase this trust by delivering property to trustee, by having the proceeds of insurance policies
made payable to trustees, or by bequest or devise by will. Settlor will notify trustee in writing of
any policies made payable to trustee as custodian thereof. Trustee's duties and liabilities
hereunder shall under no circumstances be substantially increased by any such additions, except
with trustee's __________ [type of consent, such as: written] consent.
Disposition of Income and Principal
After paying the necessary expenses incurred in the management
and investment of the trust
estate, including compensation of trustee for trustee's own services, trustee shall pay the net
income of the trust and distribute the principal of the trust in the following manner:
__________ [terms re: payment of income and distribution of trust principal (see Secs. 42:401
Invasion of Principal for Benefit of Settlor's Surviving Spouse and Descendants
After settlor's death, trustee may apply so much of the principal
of the trust for the use of settlor's
spouse, __________ [settlor spouse name], and settlor's descendants, or any of them, at such
time or times as, in trustee's discretion, trustee may deem advisable for their proper education,
health or support. The provisions of this Section are intended primarily as a means of affording
financial assistance to settlor's spouse and children in the event of their serious illness,
misfortune or other emergency or unusual condition. The provisions of this Section are also
intended to assist settlor's descendants during the period of their education or setting up in
business or at the time of their marriages. This enumeration is to serve only as a guide and shall
not be construed to restrict the discretionary powers so conferred on trustee. Any amount so
applied to the use of settlor's spouse or any descendant shall be charged against, or deducted
from, the principal of any share then, or thereafter, set apart for such spouse or descendants.
Distributions to Minors
Trustee, in trustee's discretion, may make payments of income
or principal applicable to the use
of any minor hereunder by paying the same to the parent or guardian of such minor, or to any
other person having the care and control of such minor, or by expending any payment of income
or principal in such other manner as trustee, in trustee's discretion, believes will benefit such
minor. Trustee may also pay as an allowance directly to the minor such sums as trustee may
deem advisable. Trustee may accumulate for the benefit of any minor so much of any income
applicable to such minor's use as trustee in trustee's discretion may deem advisable, and any
income so accumulated shall be paid to the minor upon such minor's attaining majority. Trustee,
in trustee's discretion, may make payments of principal vesting in and payable to a minor, to such
minor's parent or guardian, or may defer payment of any part or all thereof until the minor attains
majority, meanwhile applying to such minor's use so much of such principal and of the income
thereof, and at such time or times, as in trustee's discretion it may deem advisable for such
minor's proper education, health or support. Any payment under this Section shall operate as a
full discharge to trustee with respect thereto.
Powers of Trustee
__________ [terms re: trustee’s powers, as desired (see Secs. 42:561 et seq.).]
Transactions with Third Persons
No person or corporation dealing with trustee shall be required
to investigate trustee's authority
to enter into any transaction or to administer the application of the proceeds of any transaction.
Compensation of Trustee
__________ [terms re: trustee’s compensation or waiver thereof (see Secs. 42:521 et seq.).]
Removal and Resignation of Trustee
Trustee may be removed at any time by settlor or, after settlor's
death, by __________ [name of
person authorized to remove trustee] by written notice to trustee. Trustee may resign by written
notice to settlor during settlor's lifetime or, after settlor's death, by written notice to __________
[designate name]. Until the accounts of trustee are settled and trustee is discharged, trustee shall
continue to have all the powers and discretions granted to trustee hereunder or conferred by law.
In the event of removal or resignation of trustee, settlor or __________ [designate name] may,
by written instrument, appoint a successor trustee. Such successor trustee, on executing a written
acceptance of the trusteeship and on the settlement of the accounts and discharge of the prior
trustee, shall be vested, without further act on the part of anyone, with all of the title, powers,
duties, immunities and discretions granted to the original trustee.
Employment of Agents; Expenses of Trust
Trustee may employ agents, including counsel, and pay them
reasonable compensation. Trustee
shall be entitled to reimbursement therefor and for all other reasonable expenses and charges of
the trust out of principal or income, as trustee shall determine.
This trust shall be governed and construed in all respects
according to the laws of the State of
This agreement shall be binding on settlor, settlor's executor,
administrator, successors and
assigns, and trustee and trustee's successors and assigns.
In witness whereof, settlor and trustee have executed this agreement at __________ [execution
location] the day and year first above written.
__________ [If applicable, add consent of spouse, such as the following:
APPROVAL AND CONSENT OF TRUSTOR'S SPOUSE
I, __________ (settlor spouse name), state that I am the __________
(husband or wife) of the
settlor named in the foregoing trust agreement, dated __________ (agreement date). I have read
and understand all of its provisions, including the fact that __________ (name of settlor) has
conveyed or transferred my share of the community property described in Schedule A to the
trustee, and the fact that the trust agreement has provisions that will govern my interest in such
community property on the death of the settlor or myself. I approve the agreement and consent
that all property originally or hereafter contributed to such trust shall be held, administered, and
distributed as provided in the agreement, and I agree to be bound thereby.
(Signature of settlor spouse)]
[Attach schedule of property]
ūReminder: The settlor continues to be taxed on the income of a revocable trust and the trust
principal will be included in settlor's gross estate at his or her death. 26 USCS §§ 676 and 2038.
ūReminder: Any documents necessary to effect transfer of title to trust property from the settlor
to the trustee should be prepared for execution contemporaneously with execution of the trust
agreement. Note also that if the trust concerns real property or interests therein, it may be
recorded, in which case it must be acknowledged. In most cases, however, only the deed(s)
actually transferring the property will be recorded.
Legal Periodicals: Current trends and techniques in the use of and drafting of revocable trusts.
47 J Taxation 332.
ūNote: As to testamentary additions to trusts, see Prob C § 6300.
Annotations: Exercise by will of trustor's reserved power to revoke or modify inter vivos trust,
81 ALR3d 959..
ūNote: As to California Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, see Prob C §§ 3900 et seq. As to
statutory provisions relating to devises subject to the California Uniform Transfers to Minors
Act, see Prob C §§ 6341 et seq.
Annotations: What gifts in trust to a minor "may be expended by, or for the benefit of" the donee
so as to qualify for gift tax exemption within the provisions of 26 USCS § 2503(c)(1). 3 ALR
ūNote: As to statutory provisions relating to the obligations of trustees, see Prob C §§ 16000 et
seq. As to trustee's statutory powers, see Prob C §§ 16200 et seq.
Proof of Facts: Fiduciary's breach of investment duties. 1 Am Jur Proof of Facts 2d 467.
ūNote: As to statutory provision for compensation of trustees, see Prob C §§ 15680 et seq.
Annotations: Right of trustee to compensation on corpus withdrawn from the trust, 18 ALR2d
--Fiduciary's compensation on estate assets distributed in kind, 32 ALR2d 778.
--Right to double compensation where same person (natural or corporate) acts as executor and
trustee, 85 ALR2d 537.
--Limiting effect of provision in contract, will, or trust instrument fixing trustee's or executor's
fees, 19 ALR3d 520.
--Resignation or removal of executor, administrator, guardian, or trustee, before final
administration or before termination of trust, as affecting his compensation, 96 ALR3d 1102.
ūNote: As to statutory provisions relating to succession and appointment of new trustees, see
Prob C §§ 15600 et seq.
Annotations: Trustee's power to employ broker or agent to sell or lease estate property, 47
--Right of coexecutor or cotrustee to retain independent legal counsel, 66 ALR2d 1169.