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Once the trust is signed, dated and witnessed (or acknowledged by a Notary Public), it is in full force and effect; neither the trust nor the Will need to be recorded or filed with any governmental entity (although the deed transferring real property is usually recorded with the County Recorder). That is all that is required; a trust does not need to be created by, reviewed by or signed by an attorney.

It is always a good idea to let your successor trustee know that the trust exists and where you keep the original documents. You should also provide a copy of your health care powers to your successor agent since health care decisions can be the only "emergency" situation.

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