So how does a revocable living trust get established? And who sets it up?
The person who establishes a trust is called, in Louisiana, the Settlor. In other states this person might be called a Grantor or a Trustor. There can be more than one Settlor. Here are a few examples of who might be a Settlor of an "avoid probate" revocable living trust in Louisiana:
(1) Single Person. When an unmarried person sets up a trust, typically that unmarried person is the only Settlor.
(2) Married Couple Joint Trust. When a married couple establishes a trust, typically both spouses are the Settlors. Some married people worry, however, that if their separate property is added to their trust, it will lose its separate property status. Many trusts, however, state that when a married person contributes separate property to a joint married trust, it retains its separate property status.
(3) Married Couple Separate Trusts. Sometimes, particularly when couples get married later in life and they each have their own children and their own estates, and perhaps they even have a marriage contract (pre-nup), that couple will each establish their own trust because they each have different assets and different beneficiaries and trustees.
(4) Using a Power of Attorney. Occasionally, it becomes necessary to set up a trust, but the person who would be signing as a Settlor is not capable of transacting. If that person had previously signed a Power of Attorney, then perhaps the Agent named in the Power of Attorney can sign on behalf of the incapacitated person to set up their trust.