Congratulations! You've put in place a Trust for your Estate Planning needs to ensure that your Estate will avoid Probate as well as allow you to control how and when your assets will be distributed after you have passed away. Time to file away that fancy folder full of documents that your Estate Planning attorney gave you and forget about it.
Not so fast! You still need to fund your Trust!
At Plachta, Murphy & Associates, P.C., we always tell clients who are interested in creating a Trust that it takes discipline; the discipline of funding your Trust. Funding your Trust is the process of transferring ownership of your assets from you to your Trust. This involves changing the title on your assets from your individual name to the name of your Trust, as well as changing beneficiary designations to include the name of your Trust.
At Plachta, Murphy & Associates, P.C., as part of preparing your Trust we will get you started with the funding process by preparing the deeds necessary to transfer title for your real estate assets from you to your Trust. However, you are responsible for funding your Trust with your remaining assets, such as bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, investments, and notes payable.
What happens if you don't fund your Trust? Your Trust only controls the assets that you put in to it. So, if you fail to transfer a particular asset to your Trust, when you die that asset will most likely have to go through Probate Court administration, which you had planned to avoid by establishing a Trust in the first place.
Again, funding your Trust takes discipline. It is not terribly difficult. It just takes some time and effort to work with institutions to transfer title and update beneficiary designations. At Plachta, Murphy & Associates, P.C., we will provide you with detailed instructions to assist you with this process and we are always available for any questions. Then, once you have finished funding your Trust, you can file away that fancy folder and forget about it, with some peace of mind, knowing that your Trust will accomplish what you intend it to do.
For more information, contact Estate Planning attorney, Jeffrey M. Black, at (616) 458-3994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.