You have a revocable trust drafted, signed, and notarized. I bet you think your assets are covered; however, your work is not done yet. Completing your trust is only part one. Part two is your homework. Now, you must transfer your assets into the trust, one by one. To realize the full benefits of your trust, this is a crucial step, and without completing part two, your trust is just a pile of paper that does nothing. It is an empty shell. If you do not transfer ownership of your assets into your trust, upon your death, your estate will still have to go through the probate court process.
Unfortunately, I have seen this scenario repeatedly over the years. Clients come to me for a review of their trust, and we realize no assets were ever transferred into it. Don’t waste your time and money by not funding your trust! If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, my office can help, even if we did not draft the trust.
Now, the question is, what assets should go into my trust? Every situation is different for each client, but below is a good checklist for you to review when asking the question, “is my trust properly funded?” Now, you may not have to transfer all your assets into your trust immediately. One common reason you may not want to transfer an asset into your trust is if you are planning on selling it soon. We discuss your estate and make those decisions during our meeting so you are clear on your “homework” going forward.
The most common assets requiring title or beneficiary transferred to the name of your trust:
- Real Estate – Quit Claim Deed Must be Prepared & Recorded
- Private Investment Accounts, Stocks, & Bonds – Title Must be Changed
- Bank/Savings Accounts (Safe deposit boxes) – Title Must be Changed
- Life Insurance – Beneficiary Designation Must be Changed
- Corporate Ownership Interests – Stockholder Must be Changed
- LLC Ownership Interests – Member/Manager Must be Changed
- Notes Payable (money owed to you) – Grantee Must be Changed
- Household furnishings / Jewelry – Must Draft a Personal Property Memorandum
I have been drafting trusts for 20 years in the Chicagoland area and if you need any help drafting or transferring your assets into a trust we should meet. I am here to guide you through the process, ask the important questions, and keep the process as pain-free as possible.