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Virginia Trustee Deed

Transferring Real Property from a Living Trust Using a Virginia Trustee's Deed

A trustee's deed conveys interest in real property held in a living (inter vivos) trust. The deed is named for the granting party, the trustee, who holds legal title to property contributed to the trust by the trust's settlor. A settlor is any person who creates or contributes property to a trust by transferring it to another. Property held in trust is administered by the trustee for the benefit of a trust beneficiary. In most living trusts, the settlor designates himself as trustee and names a successor, who will take over fiduciary duties upon the settlor's death or incapacitation.

The trust is established by a written instrument executed by the settlor and governed by the Uniform Trust Code, codified in Virginia at Va. Code Ann. 64.2-7. The trust instrument contains the terms of the trust and sets forth the settlor's estate plan. The document names the trustees and enumerates the trustee's powers in acting on behalf of the trust, and designates the trust beneficiary or beneficiaries. Generally, the settlor designates himself as the living trust's beneficiary during his lifetime, and identifies another in the trust instrument who will receive the benefit of the trust's assets upon his death.

Trustees rely on the terms of the trust instrument and statutory trustee powers to convey property held in trust. A deed executed by trustee to convey real property from a trust typically carries a special warranty covenant of title. This means that the grantor promises to warrant and defend the property for the grantee "against the claims and demands of the grantor, and all persons claiming or to claim by, through, or under him" (Va. Code Ann. 55-69). Because the trustee is acting "in a fiduciary capacity," a narrower covenant than a general warranty is offered "to warrant title [only] during the time they had legal possession of it" [1].

A trustee's deed requires additional information because the grantor is acting in a fiduciary capacity. When real property is held in trust, the assets vest in the name of the trustee on behalf of the trust. Therefore, the trustee's deed names the acting trustee, the trust, and the date of the trust when reciting the grantor's information. The trustee's deed should comply with the statutory form for deeds and satisfy recording requirements for documents pertaining to interest in real property in Virginia ( 55-48, 17.1-223 et seq.). A trustee may provide a certification of trust under 64.2-804 to confirm the trust's existence and his authority to convey real property.

Before recording the deed in the independent city or county wherein the subject property is located, the deed must be signed by each acting trustee and acknowledged in the presence of a notary public.

Each situation is unique, so contact a lawyer with any questions about living trusts and for assistance in preparing a trustee's deed in Virginia.

[1] https://www.oldrepublictitle.com/vanational/agencyservices/seminars/2015FallSeminar/Virginia%20Deeds%20plus%20Appendix%20A-B.pdf

Deeds.com Virginia Trustee Deed Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Monday March 18, 2019

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Reply from Staff: Thank you so much Alexis. We appreciate you, have a fantastic day.


Jennifer B. said: I didn't care for it because I was having to do other things in between filling it out and all of a sudden it would not allow me back in it to make changes. Luckily I had saved it and then had to do FILL/SIGN option which looks ugly but that was the only way I could add what I needed.

Reply from Staff: We appreciate your business and value your feedback. Thank you. Have a wonderful day!


Victoria Y. said: Great response and painless. Very easy to use

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Maria S. said: The paperwork/forms are fine, but there isn't enough explanation for me to figure out how to file the extra forms (which I do need in my case). The main form, Deed Upon Death is fine. I think the price is pretty high for these forms. I wouldn't have purchased it because there are places to get them for much cheaper (about 6 dollars), but this site had the extra forms I wanted (property in a trust and another form). Unfortunately these were included as a "courtesy" and there are no instructions for them. So three stars for being clear about what was in the package, having the right forms that I need, but instructions for putting them to use and price took a couple of stars off. Downloading was easy and once you download you can type the info into the PDF--that makes working with the forms much easier.

Reply from Staff: Thank you for the feedback Maria. Regarding the supplement documents, it is best to get assistance from the agency that requires them. These are not legal documents, they should provide full support and guidance for them.


Charles C. said: Using an I pad and cannot type on form that was downloaded. I do not have a computer Charles

Reply from Staff: Thank you for your feedback Charles. You might want to make sure you have the Adobe app on your Ipad: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/adobe-fill-sign/id950099951?mt=8


Shirley G. said: Excellent so far. Quick response!

Reply from Staff: Thank you!


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Virginia Trustee Deed Form