For purposes of estate planning, a living trust allows the trust maker to make decisions about their assets in the event of death. The settlor establishes the terms and assets of the trust in a document called the trust instrument. In addition to appointing the trustee of the trust, the trust instrument also designates a beneficiary or provides for the designation of a beneficiary by the trustee (NRS 163.006). Note that under 163.008, real property must be transferred into trust by a written instrument (deed), which was signed by the settlor or an authorized trustee, and recorded in the county where the property is located.
A living trust, also called an inter vivos trust, is created by a “transfer of property from the owner [settlor] during his or her lifetime to another person as trustee,” who then manages the trust for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries (163.002). The trustee might be a natural person (many settlors appoint themselves as trustee and designate a successor), a corporate trustee, or a combination of the two.
As representative of the trust, the trustee holds legal title to the assets the settlor uses to fund the trust. In order to convey real property out of a trust in the State of Nevada, the trustee executes a grant, bargain, and sale deed. Though executed by a trustee, this deed should not be confused with a trustee’s deed upon sale, used in foreclosure of a deed of trust (see more information on Nevada deeds of trust at Ch. 107 of the Revised Statutes).
The grant, bargain, and sale deed is named for the words “grant, bargain, and sell” in the instrument’s granting clause. This type of deed carries express covenants that the grantor is seised of the property and that, at the time of execution of the conveyance from the grantor (trustee) to the grantee, the property is free of encumbrances from the grantor or persons claiming under the grantor. Express covenants, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th ed., are covenants “created by the words of the parties.” The covenants hold “unless restrained by express terms” (§ 111.170(1)).
When a trustee executes a grant, bargain, and sale deed as the grantor, the deed requires the name and date of the trust containing the real estate. If the trustee is acting in any capacity other than as the original trustee of the trust (if, for instance, he is the successor trustee), or if there is more than one trustee acting, this should be stated, also. A certification of trust may be supplied by the trustee or requested by the grantee to evidence the trustee’s authority to enter into the transaction.
As with any conveyance affecting real property, the document should include the grantee’s marital status, vesting information, and full mailing address. The deed should meet all standard requirements for content, such as a legal description and assessor’s parcel number of the property being transferred, and formatting for instruments affecting property in the State of Nevada.
Each acting trustee must sign the deed in the presence of a notary public. All transfers in the State of Nevada require an accompanying declaration of value, to be completed and signed by both parties to the transaction (transfer tax exemptions are located at § 375.090). Deeds are recorded in the recorder’s office of the county in which the subject property is located. Carson City is considered an independent city, and deeds affecting property within city limits should be recorded through the Carson City recorder’s office.
Contact a lawyer with any questions regarding conveyances by a trustee in the State of Nevada.