- To implement your trust, you should take the time to fill in the blanks and the have the document notarized. This does not necessarily need to be done by an attorney, but if the document is dated or you have an unclear understanding of the trust provisions you really should either go back to the attorney who drafted the document or have the document reviewed by a different one.
- One important concept to understand is that the mere drafting of a revocable trust does not necessarily do anything. The trust only governs assets that are actually registered in the name of the trust. For instance, if it is your intention to have your real estate, investment/bank accounts, and life insurance proceeds governed by the trust, you would need to change the respective account registrations and beneficiary designations to the trust. Certain assets, such as retirement accounts, cannot be placed in the trust, though you may be able to name the trust as beneficiary (seek tax/legal guidance before doing so).
- $700 for the preparation of a revocable trust is, in my experience, very inexpensive, though it sounds as if you may not have gotten much value in terms of specific guidance and implementation instruction. Presumably, the attorney also drafted a durable power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, and will for you? These three documents are critical components of nearly everyone's estate plan. Not everyone necessarily needs a revocable trust, but just about everyone should have these other three docs.
Hope this is helpful. A great resource for becoming educated on estate planning concepts is Nolo.com. For a few more related articles, see the following -
Estate Plan (Retirement Watch)
Planning Mistakes to Avoid (Retirement Watch)
25 Documents You Need Before You Die (Wall Street Journal)