First what is a Trust, specifically a Revocable Living Trust?
A Trust hold’s an individual (or a couple’s) assets to allow for simplified, and/or controlled distribution, of assets. A Trust can minimize or eliminate Probate court, as well as increase privacy, and reduce administrative cost.
However, having your attorney create the Trust, is only the first step. If you don’t re-title, transfer, or name the Trust as the beneficiary of all of account*, then Probate will still be required; which means all the costs, time and privacy savings will be lost.
Additionally, if you don’t have a Pour-over Will created, in conjunction with your Trust, then you may have made the issue doubly complicated. Now, the court will decide who receives your assets, and it may not be your Trust.
I work to ensure all of my clients properly fund their trusts, whether that means meeting with their financial advisor, talking to bank representatives or notarizing beneficiary change forms. Every client walks out of my office with a detailed explanation of how to fund their Trusts, and a check list of accounts to transfer. Untimely, it is the client’s responsibility to make sure all of their assets are in their Trust, but it’s my responsibility to make sure they have all the tools they need to get the job done.
If you have questions about a Trust, or how to get a Trust funded, contact our office at 469-402-3030.
*the designation on the account depends of the type of account and how the account is taxed according to the IRS.
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