As part of your estate plan, your attorney may suggest setting up and funding a trust. There are a number of different types of trusts you can set up, each with their own unique advantages, but one similarity between all trusts is that assets must be placed into the trusts in order to get the advantages and be used by the beneficiaries of the trust.
Moving Real Estate and Other Titled Assets
Placing real estate and similarly titled assets into a trust means that you must transfer the title of the asset from your name, or you and your spouses’ name, into the name of the trust. In many cases, this means you’ll need to sign a document transferring the title and file that with the appropriate government office. Your estate attorney can help you with some of this process either by creating the documents or guiding you as to what you need to do to transfer the title.
In addition to real estate, automobiles and other accounts that have a title or a named owner, such as a bank account, stock, bonds, investment accounts, and others must be put in the name of the trust in order to belong to the trust and be accessible by the trustee and beneficiaries.
Cash and Non-Titled Assets
Assets that don’t carry a legal title can still be incredibly valuable. Art, jewelry, furniture, and other rare or antique items can be major parts of your estate. Intellectual assets such as patents, copyrights, associated royalties and ownership in a business are also valuable assets. In these cases, you must take other steps to put these assets into the trust before your death. In some cases, you may have to transfer ownership to the trustee if you cannot transfer it to the trust itself. Then have an agreement with the trustee that the asset is part of the trust and to be managed for the benefit of the named beneficiaries.
Creating a Pour-Over Will
For assets you forget to move to your trust, your estate attorney will also create a pour-over will. This moves any assets not in your trust and not otherwise assigned to heirs into the trust after your death. While this is convenient, it doesn’t let you take advantage of some of the biggest benefits of creating a trust such as avoiding probating the assets.
Handling an estate that needs one or more trusts doesn’t have to be complicated. The estate team of lawyers from Dunn Law Firm can help by understanding your full financial picture and putting in place the right trust and estate structure for your goals and family. To learn more, reach out to the Dunn Law Firm by calling (435) 628-5405 to set up a free consultation today.