A schedule to any legal document is simply a list that details aspects of the document. In the case of a revocable trust, schedule A is the first such attachment; it lists those assets you have transferred into the trust. Your trust might have more than one schedule; for example, you might want to list assets and insurance policies separately. Schedule A is an “informational” piece, added to aid your successor trustee in determining what your trust owns at the time of your death.
Schedule A is not a legal document in itself, so it has no required format. Caption it as the schedule of the property you’ve transferred, then create subcategories, such as “real estate,” “personal property” or “financial accounts.” Under each subheading, list the specific assets with as much description as possible, such as the account numbers with savings or investment firms.
Transfer of Ownership
Listing your assets on a schedule A and attaching it to your trust document does not mean your trust now owns the assets. You must still go through the procedure of transferring titles of all your assets into the name of your trust. If you transfer property that does not require title, such as personal belongings, listing them on your schedule A might be sufficient. However, you should back up your schedule A with an actual bill of sale from you to the trust anyway. Use a nominal price, such as $1, to document the transaction.
Because a schedule A cannot transfer title by itself, it also has no legal authority with regard to your trust. A properly drafted trust is valid and enforceable even if it does not include a schedule A. A schedule A does not create a trust and has no legal impact on its own.
For the sake of clarity, you should also refer to the existence of your schedule A in the language of your trust document. Be explicit that your trust owns all assets transferred into it during your lifetime, not just those you’ve listed on the schedule. You can continue adding assets to your trust after you’ve created it, so it's possible you might forget or neglect to update your schedule A each time you add to your trust. You can also add language to your trust document to alert your successor trustee that the list might not be complete.
- Newland & Associates: Sample Revocable Living Trust
- Bernalillo County, State of New Mexico: Ask the Probate Judge – Step 2 Funding the Trust
- Nawrocki Center for Elder and Family Law: The Primary Purpose of Having Assets in Your Trust (PDF)
- USLegal: Schedules Law and Legal Definition
- Internal Revenue Service. "Instructions for Form 5227: Split-Interest Trust Information Return," Pages 1-2. Accessed July 24, 2020.
Beverly Bird has been writing professionally for over 30 years. She is also a paralegal, specializing in areas of personal finance, bankruptcy and estate law. She writes as the tax expert for The Balance.