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Are you wondering: How to close a revocable trust after death?

Are you wondering how to close a revocable trust after death? Many people set up a family trust because they know of the many advantages of having a trust but then their attorney who helped them set up their trust fails to tell them what to do when they need to close the trust.

If this is you, then take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. We understand how you feel. Many people have felt the same as you. We have found that almost all people will do just fine with a little bit of information along with a bit of help from us.

First, we need to determine why you want to close the trust. Or put a little more specifically, has some action occurred that now prompts you to want to close the Trust. Here are some common questions we ask:

  1. Did you and your spouse set up this trust together and now your spouse has passed away? If this is the case, you may not need to “close” the trust so much as you need to “administer” the trust. If this is your situation, you most likely need to transfer the assets between two or more trusts. If you need help doing this, call us at 800-501-9620.
  2. Did you and your spouse set up this trust together and now you are getting divorced? If this is the case and the divorce process has already been started, then there is an automatic hold on some estate planning. You can and should form a new Last Will and Testament as well as a new Health Care Directive so that you can name a person who is not your ex, to make medical decisions for you in the event you could not do so for yourself.
  3. If both of the Trustors have passed away or if there was only one Trustor and they have passed away, then you most likley will need to take steps to close the Trust.

In order to close the Trust, the bills of the Trustors will need to be paid and the assets of the Trust should then be distributed to the intended beneficiaries.

This process begins by the new Trustee locating the Trust document, the Wills and any other estate planning documents that the Trustors created. Next, the Trustee will gather the assets and bills of the estate. The documents will also be reviewed to determine the decedant’s wishes regarding their funeral and last rites.

Minor Children

If the decedent had children under the age of 18, they will almost always temporarily live with a family relative. The goal is usually to keep the children in their home and same school so as to have as little other disruption as possible. A proper estate plan will include the decedent’s nomination of guardians where the decedent will name the persons whom they want to take care of their children.


If the decedent had pets, then the pets should also be taken care of temporarily by a friend or family member. A good estate plan will also include who the pets will live with and may even provide financial assistance for the pets benefit.

At this point, an accounting of the assets and bills should be undertaken. Assuming the estate has enough assets to pay the bills, the bills are paid and then the remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries.

If you need help closing a trust for the reasons stated above, or for any reason, then call us at 800-501-9620. We are here to help.

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