Funding Your Revocable Trust
Revocable (or “Living”) Trusts can be created for many reasons, including but not limited to minimizing estate taxes, ensuring the privacy of your estate plan, and reducing or eliminating the role of the Probate Court in managing your estate at the time of your death. If you have created an estate plan that seeks to minimize or eliminate estate taxes, it will be very important that we review how all of your assets are titled, to make sure that the tax planning goals you have designed your estate plan to achieve can be effectuated. For example, assets titled jointly with rights of survivorship will not only bypass any such tax planning, but will also circumvent any specific instructions you have made in a Will or a Trust to divide and distribute assets in a specific manner. Likewise, if avoiding probate is a goal, it will be important to fund your trust during your lifetime, so the Probate Court will not be required to supervise the funding process upon your death.
Changing ownership of assets from an individual to a Trustee is trust funding. The process is the same whether you have named yourself as Trustee, or you have named someone else.
This memorandum contains general instructions regarding how different assets should be transferred to trust. If you undertake this process yourself, you will refer to this memo frequently. Even if you have our office handle the funding process for you, this memorandum can serve as a helpful reminder on how different assets should be titled in the name of your trust.
Please call us if you have questions regarding the funding of your revocable trust and we will be happy to assist you.