Declaration of Nominee Trust

The "Trust Declaration" is the document that creates your living trust.

A living trust is created by the Trust Declaration document. You can create a living trust without an attorney using quality software or online applications. A free form is included here for educational reference.

Professional Forms

These estate planning products, provided by Nolo, can create a living trust that is legally valid in your state, customizable to suit your needs, professionally written, and regularly updated by expert attorneys. Use these to create a legal, enforceable trust document.

Free Declaration of Trust Trust Form

The form below is a very basic one, using boilerplate language, and is intended for educational purposes only. It has not been vetted by an expert, or updated. It may not be legally valid.


The undersigned, ______________________________ of _________________ County, State of ________________ ( "Trustee" ), hereby declares that any and all property and interest in property that may be transferred to him as Trustee hereunder, shall be held in trust, for the sole benefit of the beneficiaries for the time being upon the terms set forth. The term "Trustee" wherever used shall mean the Trustee or Trustees named in this document and such person or persons who hereafter are serving as Trustee or Trustees hereunder. The rights, powers, authority and privileges granted hereunder to the Trustee shall be exercised by such person or persons subject to the provisions hereof.

BENEFICIARIES: The term "Beneficiaries" wherever used shall mean the beneficiary or beneficiaries listed in the Schedule of Beneficial Interests this day, executed and filed with the Trustee, or in the revised Schedule of Beneficial Interests, if any, from time to time executed and filed with the Trustee. The Trustee shall not be affected by any assignment or transfer of any beneficial interest until receipt by the Trustee of notice that such assignment or transfer has in fact been made and a revised Schedule of Beneficial Interests shall have been duly executed and filed with the Trustee. Any Trustee may without impropriety become a beneficiary hereunder and exercise all rights of a beneficiary with the same effect as though he were not a Trustee.

DUTIES OF TRUSTEE: The Trustee shall hold the principal of this Trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries, and shall immediately pay over any income received to the beneficiaries in proportion to their respective interests.

POWERS OF THE TRUSTEE: The Trustee shall have no power to deal in or with the Trust Estate except as directed by the beneficiaries. When, as, if and to the extent specifically directed by the beneficiaries, any one of the Trustees shall have the power to:

Buy or otherwise acquire, to hold, to exchange or partition, to sell at public or private sale, and to mortgage, pledge or otherwise encumber or dispose of all or any part of the Trust Estate; and to execute any and all deeds, promissory notes, mortgages and other instruments necessary or appropriate therefore;

To lease and sublease all or any part of the Trust Estate for such terms and on such terms as the Trustee deems advisable;

Contest or compromise any claims in favor of or against or in any way relating to the Trust Estate. Any and all instruments executed pursuant to such directions may create obligations extending over any periods of time including periods beyond any possible termination date of the Trust. Notwithstanding any provisions contained herein, no Trustee shall be required to take any action which will, in the opinion of such Trustee, involve him in any personal liability unless first indemnified to his satisfaction. Any person dealing with the Trustee shall be fully protected.

TERMINATION: The Trust may be terminated any time, by one or more of the beneficiaries, by notice in writing to the Trustee, but such termination shall only be effective when a certificate thereof signed and acknowledged by a Trustee hereunder, shall be recorded with ____________________ County, __________ (State) Registry of Deeds; and the Trust shall terminate in any event twenty (20) years from the date hereof. In case of any such termination, the Trustee shall transfer and convey the specific assets constituting the Trust Estate, subject to any leases, mortgages, contracts or other encumbrances on the Trust Estate, to the then beneficiaries as tenants in common in proportion to their respective interests hereunder.

 RESIGNATION AND APPOINTMENT OF SUCCESSOR TRUSTEES: Any Trustee hereunder may resign by written instrument signed and acknowledged by such Trustee and recorded with the Registry. Succeeding or additional Trustees may be appointed or any Trustee may be removed by an instrument or instruments in writing signed by all the beneficiaries, provided in each case that such instrument or instruments, or a certificate signed by any Trustee naming the Trustee or Trustees appointed or removed, and in the case of any appointment, the acceptance in writing by the Trustee or Trustees appointed, shall be recorded with the Registry. Upon the appointment of any succeeding or additional Trustee, the title to the Trust Estate shall thereupon and without the necessity of any conveyance be vested in said succeeding or additional Trustee jointly with the remaining Trustee or Trustees, if any. Each succeeding and additional Trustee shall have the rights, powers, authority and privileges as if named as an original Trustee hereunder. No Trustee shall be required to furnish bond.

AMENDMENT: This Declaration of Trust may be amended from time to time by an instrument in writing signed by all the beneficiaries and acknowledged by one or more of the beneficiaries, provided in each case that the instrument of amendment, or a certificate by any Trustee setting forth the terms of such amendment, shall be recorded with the Registry prior to the amendment being effective as to any party who does not have actual notice thereof.

TRUSTEE LIABILITY; RELIANCE OF PURCHASERS AND OTHERS: No Trustee hereunder shall be liable for any error of judgment or for any loss arising out of any act or omission in good faith, but shall be responsible only for his/her own willful breach of trust. No license of court shall be requisite to the validity of any transaction entered into by the Trustee. No purchaser, transferee, pledgee, mortgagee or other lender shall be under any obligation to see to the application of the purchase money or of any money or property loaned or delivered to any Trustee or to see that the terms and conditions of this Trust have been complied with. Every agreement, lease, deed, mortgage, note, or other instrument or document executed or action taken by any one Trustee appearing as a Trustee hereunder from the records of the Registry, shall be conclusive evidence in favor of every person relying thereon or claiming thereunder that at the time of the delivery thereof or of the taking of such action this Trust was in full force and effect, that the execution and delivery thereof or taking of such action was duly authorized, empowered and directed by the beneficiaries, and that such instrument or document or action is valid, binding and legally enforceable. Any person dealing with the Trust Estate or the Trustee may always rely without inquiry on the certificate signed by any Trustee appearing as a Trustee hereunder from the records of the Registry as to whom is the Trustee or whom are the Trustees or the beneficiaries hereunder, or as to the authority of the Trustee to act, or as to the existence or nonexistence of any fact or facts which constitute conditions precedent to acts by the Trustee or which are in any other manner germane to the affairs of the Trust.

 NO PERSONAL LIABILITY: No Trustee or beneficiary of this Trust shall be held personally or individually liable for any of the obligations incurred or entered into on behalf of the Trust and each person who deals with the Trustee shall look solely to the Trust Estate for satisfaction of any claims which such person may have against the Trust.

RECORDATION: The term "Registry" as used herein shall mean the ___________ County, _________________________ (State) Registry of Deeds; provided that if this Declaration of Trust is recorded or filed for registration in any other public office within or without the ______________ (State), any person dealing with portions or all of the Trust Estate as to which documents or instruments are recorded or filed for registration in such other public office in order to constitute notice to persons not parties thereto may rely on the state of the record with respect to this Trust in such other public office, and with respect to such portions or all of the Trust Estate the term "Registry" as used herein shall also mean such other public office.

MISCELLANEOUS: Whenever applicable, the use of the singular number herein shall include the plural and the use of the plural shall include the singular number. The use of the masculine gender shall also include the feminine, wherever applicable. All paragraph titles are supplied for convenience of reference only and shall not govern the meaning or interpretation of this Declaration of Nominee Trust.

WITNESS the execution hereof under seal at ____________ by the undersigned this _________________ day of _______________________ (month), ____ (year).



STATE OF ____________________

Then personally appeared the above-named ___________________________________ and acknowledged the foregoing instrument to be his free act and deed, before me,


Notary Public

My Commission Expires: __________________________


I, _______________________________, hereby accept appointment as Trustee of the ____________________ Trust and hereby agree to exercise faithfully any and all rights, powers, authority and privileges granted.

Signed this _____________ day of __________________ (month), ____ (year).



Witnessed by:


Talk to a Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you

Talk to an attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you