Transferring Assets to Trust

It is very important that, if you use trust planning, all of your appropriate assets are transferred into your trust. Please remember that assets that are not transferred into the trust could end up in probate, which can be expensive and time consuming. The process of transferring your assets to your trust is called “funding.” When you fund your trust, you physically change the titles of your assets from your individual name (or joint names, if married) to the trustee of your trust. You may also want to change certain beneficiary designations to your trust so that those assets will transfer to the trust and be administered pursuant to the terms of the estate plan.

The trustee is named by you in your trust and, most likely, you will want to name yourself as trustee during your lifetime. This will enable you to have control over your assets, even though they are in the name of the trust.

Your living trust can only control the assets that are put into it. Simply creating a trust does not mean that your assets will be controlled by the trust. All of your assets must be transferred into the trust.

The process of transferring assets to the trust is not difficult but can take some time. The various financial institutions are usually very familiar with transferring assets to trustees of revocable living trusts, and they have their own forms for doing so.

We have experience funding trusts and can do it quickly and efficiently for you. If you prefer, we will fully fund your trust by preparing all documents for your signature, contacting all investment companies at which you have assets and advising them of your desire to re-title your assets into your living trust. You will receive a written confirmation from us when all of the re-titling is completed.

Some of the types of assets that you may want to transfer to your trust are:

  • Real property (land, other real estate)
  • Bank/credit union accounts, safe deposit boxes
  • Investments (CDs, stocks, mutual funds, etc.)
  • Notes payable (money owed to you)
  • Life Insurance (if not placed in an irrevocable trust)
  • Business interests, intellectual property
  • Oil and gas interests, foreign assets

Please note that IRA and tax deferred plans should not be transferred to the trust