What You Need to Know About Funding Your Living Trust
Living trusts have become a popular estate planning tool for many reasons – they offer flexibility and protection while helping you avoid the probate process. However, creating the trust is not enough by itself. One of the most common mistakes that people make is neglecting to actually fund the trust. Understanding what this entails is critical to getting the protection you intended. An experienced Boca Raton living trust lawyer can guide you through the process.
When we speak about funding your trust what we are really referring to is the process by which you transfer your assets to the trust. This means changing the ownership of those assets to being owned by the trust. For example, if you put your house into the trust, your name will no longer be on the title; the trust will be the record owner.
Funding the trust is important because only those assets that are in the trust can be transferred to the beneficiaries of the trust as you intended. Any assets that you fail to transfer to your trust will therefore pass through probate, and if you don’t have a will, will pass to your heirs according to Florida’s intestate succession laws. To guard against this possibility, some people will have their lawyer draft a “pour over” will that transfers any remaining assets into the trust when they die.
Who is Responsible for Funding the Trust?
This is where things sometimes get complicated. Your attorney will likely handle your major assets such as any real estate holdings because they often involve sophisticated legal documents and filing procedures. That said, you may be responsible for transferring less valuable assets or assets that are easily transferred. Make sure that you and your lawyer are on the same page when it comes to who is responsible for transferring which assets.
Of course, a Boca Raton living trust lawyer can always provide help if you aren’t sure what to do or encounter difficulties when transferring the assets. The process typically is not difficult, but it can take time. That said, it is critical that you transfer the assets as soon as possible. Time passes more quickly than you think, and that’s when assets are inadvertently left out of the trust.
Assets That Should Be in Your Trust
Generally speaking, the goal is to transfer as many of your assets into the trust as possible. However, when planning your estate, there may be certain assets that you do not want to put into your trust. Your attorney may have specific recommendations, but you should consider placing the following items in your trust:
- Your home and any other real estate you own
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
- Any business interests you have
Potential liabilities and other legal issues can be a factor in determining which assets should be transferred. A Boca Raton living trust lawyer can help you inventory your assets and determine which ones should be transferred into your trust.
Contact a Boca Raton Living Trust Lawyer at Ellis Law Group
No matter what your estate planning needs may be, the estate planning lawyers at Ellis Law Group can help. To discuss creating or funding a living trust, call us at 561-910-7500 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with an experienced Boca Raton living trust lawyer today.