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How to Obtain Trust Documents Living trusts are one of the most secretive forms of estate planning. Just as with a will, no one has a legal right to look at a trust's documents without the creator's consent during his lifetime. Unlike a will, a trust doesn't get snarled up in probate after death, so its formation documents never become a matter of public record either. Anyone who's merely curious about the estate, who's neither an heir nor a beneficiary, would have no legal right to request or obtain copies of the documents. Trust DocumentsTrusts have a certain mystique, but they're really not all that complicated they usually involve only a few documents. One is integral: the trust agreement, sometimes called a trust instrument or a Declaration of Trust. This document explains all the rules and terms of the trust. If the grantor the individual who creates the trust makes any changes to the instrument, there might also be trust amendments or restatements. In addition to these basic documents, there may be bills of sale or transfer, as well as deeds all necessary to move assets from the name of the grantor into that of the trust. Revocable TrustsA grantor usually manages his revocable trust himself during his lifetime, acting as trustee. He can change or undo its terms at any time and isn't under any obligation to share the documents with anyone. When the grantor dies, the trust automatically becomes irrevocable he was the only one who could make changes to it and when he's no longer available to do so, its terms become set in stone. A successor trustee takes over to settle the trust. This triggers notification requirements to beneficiaries and heirs. The exact rules differ from state to state. Some require that the successor trustee send a copy of the trust instrument to each beneficiary. Others only require that he notify the beneficiaries that the grantor is deceased and offer them the opportunity to request a copy of the trust instrument. Some jurisdictions require notification to the deceased's heirs and the trust's beneficiaries those who would have inherited from him if he had died with no estate plan in place. No one else is entitled to a copy of the documents. Irrevocable TrustsSome trusts are irrevocable from their inception. The grantor sets up the trust and transfers his property to it, relinquishing ownership for good. He doesn't act as trustee someone else is appointed to manage the trust from the beginning. In this case, notification to beneficiaries is usually required right away, as soon as the trustee takes office. Locating Lost DocumentsIf the grantor of a revocable trust has died and his trust documents can't be found, this can present a problem you won't know how he wanted the trust settled. You can do a little detective work, but unless you're the successor trustee of a revocable trust, no one is legally obligated to turn the documents over to you if they're in his possession. If you are the trustee, you might approach places where the trust instrument would be important to doing business. The deceased's bank might have a copy. His attorney might have retained a copy. If he made gifts to the trust to fund it, the Internal Revenue Service might have a copy attached to one or more of his tax returns. As a last resort, you might dig into personal places where he was likely to keep important paperwork. How to Locate My Trust Account Documents Anyone can establish a trust without filing any documents with the state of residence. Creating a trust may involve an attorney and,. Do It Yourself: Living Trusts Documents Living trusts are becoming increasingly popular tools for planning estates and leaving assets to beneficiaries. In a trust, property is given by. How to Find a Trust Agreement How to Find a Trust Agreement. . Seek the advice of an estate planning attorney in your state if you cannot locate. How to Get a Copy of a Living Trust A living trust is a private document made public to immediate family members. Assets are distributed privately, . How Do I Get. Making a living trust can be a useful estate planning tool and once you have signed the trust document you can be.