Signing a living trust isn’t the end of estate planning; you also need to fund a trust. Online living trust forms can be great, but a revocable or irrevocable living trust with no living trust funds is worthless. Knowing how to fund a living trust is vital for the trust to accomplish its goals.
Funding a living trust involves transferring property to the trust. An asset not transferred to the trust is not owned by the trust and will be subject to probate (unless you’ve used another technique to avoid probate). In short, if there is no living trust fund, there is no living trust. How to fund a trust varies depending upon the nature of the property. You can transfer ownership, or, in some cases, designate the trust as a beneficiary upon your death.
Examples of assets that you would change the title:
- Any real estate
- Non-IRA and Non-401K investment accounts
- Life insurance policies
It is important to take the time to re-title your assets in the name of your trust after you have taken the time to work with your estate planning attorney to create a living trust that fits your particular family situation and financial needs. You will need to update the beneficiary designations for your assets that require a beneficiary designation.
Whether you want help putting money or other assets into an already established trust or you’re ready to set up a new trust, or have questions about a trust in general, please give us a call today at 206-408-8158. We look forward to being able to assist you with your estate planning needs.