Our Attorney Can Help With Funding Your Trust
“Funding” your trust is the process of titling your property into the name of the Trust.
The goal of establishing the Trust is so that the Trust (and not you) becomes the owner of most of your property. The terms of the trust do not apply to that which the trust does not own.
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 actually changing title to your property to the Trust.
How to Fund Your Trust
Funding the Trust involves conveying title of your assets, one by one, into your Trust. For example, your non-retirement 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 transferred 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 it is 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.
What Happens when a Trust Is Not Properly Funded?
What is a Heggstad Petition?
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 the Decedent left a Trust. An invaluable tool to circumvent full-blown Probate is having a Pour Over Will, which names the Trust as the sole Beneficiary of the decedent's Probate Estate, as well as a General Grant and Assignment that assigns all property to the Trust. The Will Executor can petition the court for an order transferring such assets back into the Trust without the formality, delay and cost of Probate. This type of petition is generally known as a Heggstad Petition.
Our Office has successfully won numerous Heggstad Petitions and has saved clients the significant expense and delay of having to go through formal Probate. A successful Heggstad Petition is dependent upon a well written Declaration of Trust, supported by a Pour Over Will and Schedule "A" (General Grant and Assignment) of your property to the Trust.
Contact the Law Offices of Maria N. Jonsson, PC for a Consultation and to learn more about what it takes to present a winning Heggstad Petition to the Court and avoid Probate.
The process of funding your Trust can be lengthy and complex. It is a crucial step that should be carried out correctly to avoid the highest price — regret. To learn more about funding your Trust, reach out to our lawyer. Attorney Maria N. Jonsson, Esq. serves Marina del Rey, Venice, Playa del Rey, and the surrounding areas.
Please call (424) 383-8445 today to schedule a consultation.