Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Funding a Revocable Trust

Signing your revocable family trust feels like a significant accomplishment. You've thought for years about getting it done and when you finally have your estate planning binder in hand, you feel a sense of satisfaction. However, the trust document won't do you any good unless you actually fund the trust.

I always tell my client to think of the trust as a box. I can help you construct the box, but unless you put your assets into it, it can't provide any of the benefits for which you created it. Funding the trust requires changing title and ownership of your assets from yourself to the name of the trust. Recording a new deed for your home, going into the bank to complete change of ownership forms, and changing the beneficiary designation on life insurance policies are the most common.

Part of the estate plan I prepare for you includes a table of assets. It's a grid displaying all of your property and how each should be titled. It helps you keep track of everything you own to ensure that all assets that should be in the trust make it into the trust. I will also assist you with these transfers, including preparing Nevada deeds and providing letters of instruction for title transfers of your other assets.

While actually drafting and signing the trust may the biggest task, funding the trust is the most important.

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