If a Living Trust, also called a Revocable Trust, is part of your Estate Plan, at some point you will have to “fund the Trust.” Funding your Trust will do many things for you and your family. Here are a few highlights:
- Avoid a potentially costly and lengthy process of going through Probate Court
- Save on Estate Taxes
- Provide for your spouse and your children (Even if you are in a second marriage or your children don’t live with you.)
Funding your Living Trust
Funding your trust is a crucial part of your overall Estate Plan. Your Trust contains the assets you want to leave to your family. Not the household items like grandma’s favorite silver coffee pot or Grandpa’s favorite watch. Those are important mementos and there is a place for them, but not in your Trust.
Your Trust is where you “store” or “assign” your large financial assets, such as homes, second homes, savings accounts, stocks and insurance policies. You will physically transfer, or sign over your title(s) from your individual name to the name of your trust. Your Estate Planning attorney should provide detailed instructions on how to do this.
Typically, you, or you and your spouse, are the initial Trustees, so you control the assets in the Trust. Some people will name an adult child as a Trustee so he or she can help manage the assets, pay bills, etc. Speak to your Estate Planning Attorney about how to make a Living Trust, what goes into the Trust and who will be a Trustee.