Under R.S. 9:1732, trusts under the Louisiana Trust Code are either testamentary (to take effect upon the settlor’s death) or inter vivos (to take effect upon the trust instrument’s execution). Find the laws governing trusts and trust administration codified as the Louisiana Trust Code at R.S. 9:1721-9:2252.
A trust, as defined by Louisiana statute, is “the relationship resulting from the transfer of title to property to a person to be administered by him as a fiduciary for the benefit of another” (R.S. 9:1731). The trustee is any “person to whom title to the trust property is transferred to be administered by him as a fiduciary” (9:1781). The trustee is designated by the trust’s settlor in the trust instrument, a document containing the provision of the trust. The settlor is the person who created the trust (9:1761). The beneficiary “is a person for whose benefit the trust is created and may be a natural person, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity having the capacity to receive property” and is also designated by the trust instrument (9:1801, 1802).
According to R.S. 9:2119, trustees of living trusts in the State of Louisiana have the power “to sell trust property unless the sale is forbidden in specific words by the trust instrument or unless it appears from the provisions of the trust instrument that the property is to be retained in kind.” To transfer title to trust property, the trustee executes an instrument of conveyance as the grantor.
Because the trustee is acting in a representative capacity, the deed requires information about the trust, including the trust’s name and date. Deeds executed by a trustee should contain the same content as any other deed, including a granting statement designating the grantee’s vesting, the legal description of the property being conveyed, and a reference to the instrument granting title to the grantor.
Trustees in Louisiana use a warranty deed, special warranty deed, or quitclaim deed to convey property out of trust. The type of deed used is dependent upon the type of warranty of title a trustee wishes to convey. A trustee who executes a general warranty deed warrants title against all claims in addition to conveying title. A special warranty deed only guarantees the title against claims arising through the grantor. A quitclaim deed is a fee simple deed that conveys the grantor’s interest only, without any warranty of title.
In order to convey real (immovable) property contained by a trust, a trustee is required to have on record “the trust instrument, an extract of trust, or a copy of the trust instrument or extract of trust certified by the clerk of court for the parish in which the original trust instrument or extract of trust was filed,” as stipulated by R.S. 9:2092.
Deeds in Louisiana must be signed by the grantor and two witnesses in the presence of a notary public before they are submitted for recording in the parish in which the real property subject to the transfer is situated (R.S. 13:3720).
Each situation is unique, so contact a lawyer with questions or for specific information. Trust law is complex, and a legal consultation early in the process can save time and money in the future.