Laying the Foundation for Your Living Trust

Creating a living trust is a significant step, but it’s only the initial phase of a comprehensive strategy. To realize the full potential of your trust and ensure its seamless functionality, Mark Fishbein, an expert estate planner at ALTA Estate, emphasizes the vital importance of proper funding. This article is your roadmap to ensure your trust operates effectively and aligns with your intentions.

With Mark Fishbein’s guidance, you’ll navigate these crucial steps to lay a strong foundation for your living trust, ensuring it serves its purpose effectively and comprehensively.

Step 1: Transferring Real Estate into Your Trust

Transferring real estate involves executing a deed, typically a warranty deed, in accordance with state laws. However, overlooking transfer taxes and fees can be costly, underscoring the importance of thorough research and working with professionals.

Step 2: Retitling Titled Personal Property

Personal assets like cars and boats should be retitled in the name of your trust. This step can raise tax implications and may require lender approval, making it essential to proceed cautiously.

Step 3: Funding Untitled Personal Property

An assignment of ownership document is the solution for personal items lacking titles. Clear descriptions and proper documentation are pivotal, whether it’s your cherished jewelry collection or valuable antiques.

Step 4: Shifting Bank Accounts to the Trust

Bank accounts, including savings, checking, and money market accounts, can be funded into the trust by renaming the trust agreement as the owner of the account. However, sometimes the bank may require you to create a new bank account, which can disrupt automatic payments and deposits. For this reason, you may decide to designate your beneficiaries as a Payable on Death Beneficiary (“POD”). In either scenario, timing is crucial, especially for CDs, to avoid penalties.

Step 5: Securing Securities in Your Trust

Navigating stocks and bonds requires guidance from your broker. They can advise on retitling your brokerage account or reissuing certificates. Caution is advised when dealing with qualified retirement accounts.

Step 6: Incorporating Business Interests

Business interests, whether in partnerships, LLCs, or corporations, should be transferred or assigned to your trust while adhering to existing agreements.

Step 7: Updating Life Insurance Beneficiaries

Life insurance policies offer unique trust funding options. You can transfer ownership to the trust or name the trust as a beneficiary, but the former might affect protection against creditors.

Step 8: Transferring Intellectual Property Rights

Transferring royalties, copyrights, patents, and trademarks entails specific procedures. Consultation with an intellectual property attorney ensures correct asset transfer.

Step 9: Handling Gas, Oil, and Mineral Rights

This complex step involves various transfer methods. Professional legal advice is often indispensable.

Step 10: Assigning Accounts Receivable

If you’ve extended personal loans, assigning the right to receive payments to your trust ensures the collection of outstanding debts.

Step 11: Designating the Trust as Beneficiary

Certain assets, like retirement accounts, benefit from designating your trust as a beneficiary, avoiding complex tax implications associated with retitling.

Mark Fishbein’s guidance underscores the importance of meticulous planning and execution in each trust funding step. Collaborating with professionals is often essential to navigate complexities and ensure your estate plan operates effectively. With a well-structured trust, you can rest assured that your legacy is preserved, and your wishes are honored comprehensively.

Ensuring a Robust and Effective Living Trust

In estate planning, creating a living trust represents a pivotal strategy for securing your legacy and ensuring the seamless transfer of assets to your beneficiaries. However, the accurate measure of a living trust’s success lies in its funding – the process of strategically allocating your assets into the trust. Mark Fishbein, a distinguished estate planner at ALTA Estate, underscores the critical role of this step in achieving the desired outcomes of your estate plan. Rest assured that with a well-funded trust, your estate is secure and poised to testify to your foresight and careful planning.

The text above is for general informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice. For more information, click Contact Us. Follow Mark Fishbein Tucson Estate Planner, on LinkedIn or Facebook. Estate Planners Tucson and Tucson Trust Lawyers.