What is a Revocable (Living) Trust in South Dakota?

A trust exists when one person (called the grantor) gives property to another person (called the trustee) to hold and manage for one or more other persons (called the beneficiaries). Under South Dakota law, a revocable trust (also known as a “living trust”) is a trust that the grantor can amend (change) or revoke (cancel) during his lifetime.

Through the revocable trust, the grantor keeps all the benefits of any property placed into it for the rest of his life. The grantor also can be the trustee. The grantor’s spouse or a trust company also can serve as trustee. A revocable trust can be funded with any property such as checking accounts, savings accounts, brokerage accounts, stocks and bonds, a home and other real estate.

Some revocable trusts may not be funded initially, but rather at a later time or at the grantor’s death. The terms of a trust are described in writing in a document often called the declaration of trust or trust agreement. This document is signed by both the grantor and the trustee.