This is a great question! Many people don’t realize that setting
up an estate plan with a revocable trust is not the final step to setting
up a proper estate plan. Many individuals forget the most important part
of estate planning – FUNDING. Funding the revocable living trust
is the process of transferring assets from your individual name into the
revocable living trust. To do this you physically change the titling on
your assets from your individual name (or joint names, if married) to
the name of your revocable living trust. You can view the revocable trust
as the vehicle for bypassing probate, but if you don’t actually
transfer assets into this vehicle, it will be empty and worthless. Likely,
if an estate with a revocable living trust has many probate assets, then
funding never occurred or only partially occurred.
Each different type of asset may require a different procedure to effectuate
the revocable living trust funding process. For instance, the following
are just some of the procedures for funding common assets:
Real Property: To transfer real property into your Trust, a new deed reflecting the name
of the Trust must be executed, notarized and recorded with the County
Recorder in the County where the property is located.
Security Interests: To transfer security interests into your Trust, an assignment of the contract/deed
of trust reflecting the name of the Trust must be executed, notarized
and recorded with the County Recorder in the County where the property
Banking Accounts: To transfer banking accounts including safety boxes you will need to provide
your bank with a copy of the Trust Agreement or Certificate of Trust and
then sign new signature cards as Trustee of your Trust.
Public Stocks and Bonds: In the case of publicly held stocks or bonds, it will be necessary to
work through a stockbroker or through the institution from which the assets
Private Stocks and Bonds: The transfer of privately held security instruments, such as stocks in
a privately held corporation, can be accomplished simply by surrendering
the existing stock certificates and having new stock certificates prepared
in the name of the Trust.
For more information on Asset protection, Estate planning, Business Law
and/or Probate please contact the attorneys of The Presser Law Firm, P.A.