A California Living Trust: How to File With the County

A California living trust is designed to avoid expensive probate proceedings when someone dies and his estate needs to be managed. The living trust also provides long-term property management instructions by naming specific individuals as trustees who will control the assets named in the trust upon the grantor's death. In California, it is not always necessary to file the living trust with the county. However, all real assets, such as real estate, must have new deeds filed under the trustee's name in the name of the trust for the assets to be included in the living trust. Filing may also be required for trusts involving asset values above a specified maximum. Contact the appropriate county court for requirements.

Notarize your copy of the California Revocable Living Trust. California living trust forms may be downloaded and filled out from a number of online resources, but hiring a qualified attorney is recommended to ensure that the forms are filled out properly and filed with the proper entities.

Prepare a quitclaim or grant deed that names the trustee as the new owner of the property in the name of the trust. Send the deed to a licensed attorney for review and then have the deed notarized.

Request a preliminary change of ownership form from the county tax assessor.

File the executed deed, the preliminary change of ownership form and a copy of the California Revocable Living Trust with the local county recorder.