Practice areas:

Funding Your Trust

Your Trust is not worth the paper it’s printed on, if it is not FUNDED. Funding is the process of titling property into the name of the Trust.

Schedule “A” to your Trust and your General Grant and Assignment will specifically assign to your Trust all of your right, title and interest in any and all of your property, but it is no substitute to the process of Funding the trust.

This involves conveying title of your assets, one by one, into your Trust. For example, your Financial Assets (including investment and brokerage accounts, money market accounts, CDs, mutual funds, etc.), your checking and savings accounts, and shares of stock (either physical certificates or stock held in book entry) should be retitled into the Trust.

Your Real Properties situated anywhere in the United States should be conveyed in the Trust by recording Deeds with each County Recorder’s Office where the property is located (this avoids Probate administration in multiple States, because real estate is always subject to Probate in the State where it is located – unless owned in Trust);

Your Life Insurance policies where you are the insured should be updated to designate your Trust as the “pay on death beneficiary” of the policy, so that the Successor Trustee will be able to collect the death benefit and “pool” it into your Trust, where it will be shielded from the trust beneficiaries’ creditors.

Your Business Entity Interests (LLCs, Corps, PCs, etc.) should be assigned to the Trust by separate Business Assignments, etc.

If the trust is not properly funded, and assets remain in a decedent’s individual name after death, they could be subject to Probate EVEN WHEN he/she had set up a Trust. In invaluable tool to circumvent full-blown probate is having a POUR OVER WILL. This Will names the Trust as the sole beneficiary of the decedent’s probate estate. The Executor can petition the court for an Order transferring such assets back into the Trust without the formality of probate.

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