Trust Funding Lawyer Serving Livonia, Plymouth, Northville, and Surrounding Areas
Trusts are a major component of a well crafted estate plan. Trusts are important tools that help avoid timely and costly probate procedures, help to reduce taxes and make sure that assets accumulated over a lifetime of hard work are used in a way intended by you. Revocable living trusts, however, are of little value until they have been funded.
When discussing the funding of a trust, many individuals become anxious and concerned about the challenge that they may face. The goal of this page is to shed some light on the process and highlight that while some of the decisions and steps are complex, overall the process, when handled with a qualified estate planning attorney by your side, is really pretty simple.
What Does Funding a Trust Mean?
Funding a revocable living trust in technical terms is the process of taking assets that are titled to the individual trustmakers name, or in joint names with others, and retitling them into the name of the trustmakers trust. Trust funding can also be done by updating beneficiary designations.
A simplified example to highlight how to fund a trust would be a bank account. Generally a bank account is titled in the name of the person who opened the account. Once a revocable grantor trust has been created, the account holder will bring with him/her evidence of the trust (typically a certificate of trust existence) and ask the bank to retitle the account to the trust.
A similar process, with varying degrees of complexity, will be handled for all assets that you and your attorney have determined should be titled to the grantor trust.
Do I Have to do this Alone?
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No. Before you begin putting assets into a trust, we will have reviewed in great detail each asset that you own and have created an individualized written plan for how to utilize each asset to maximize your estate planning goals.
Further, an additional benefits of using a local in person estate planning attorney is that you have someone to assist you with the important step of funding your trust. Matt Devitt Law, PLC knows the importance of proper trust funding and will be a partner in the funding process well after the original estate plan has been completed.
Once I Put an Asset in Trust can I Still Make Changes?
Yes. Most revocable living trusts can be changed during the grantor’s (person who creates the living trust) lifetime. While the assets are titled to the trust, you as the grantor retain full control of the assets unless you become incapacitated or pass away. If either of these unfortunate situations occur, the trustee that you have chosen, according to the terms of your trust, will manage your assets.
Are there Alternatives to a Revocable Living Trust?
Yes. In situations where you do not want to take on the steps of funding a trust, a testamentary trust can be recommended. A testamentary trust, which is a trust that is established during the grantor’s lifetime, but not funded until death, has many of the same benefits as a revocable grantor trust. However, a testamentary trust does have a few cons including requiring loved ones to go through the probate process and less protection during a period of disability.
Matt Devitt Law, PLC is Here to Help
A revocable living trust is a great estate planning tool and when properly funded can provide peace of mind that you have done everything you can to protect the ones you love. While funding a trust can bring challenges, it is important to know that when working with Matt Devitt, you can expect support and guidance from the start to finish of your well crafted estate plan.
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