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Estate Planning

Don’t Forget: Fund that Trust!

By November 11, 2015No Comments

You’re done!

After weeks of soul searching, intense discussions, and final document revisions, you sign each of your estate planning documents — your Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, and related documents.

You put down your pen and put up your feet. You say to yourself, “I’m glad that’s over with.”

But are you really finished?

Many estate plans include a revocable trust which is intended to hold assets until after your death, until their disposition on your prescribed terms.

Because this trust is not public and does not go through probate, your financial affairs can remain private and you can avoid probate fees.

A revocable trust, however, is only as good as the assets placed in it before death.

Assets must be formally transferred to the trust, using forms changing the assets’ “ownership” from yourself to the trust.

A “probate” asset (a house, a financial account) not transferred to the trust at death may have to go through probate. That would defeat a major purpose of the trust.

Transferring assets to a revocable (as opposed to irrevocable) trust does not deprive their owner of control over them.

A revocable trust’s creator (grantor), for example, can change or terminate the trust at any time (while competent) until his death.

Make sure that you’ve dotted all your “I’s” and crossed all your “T’s.”

Review your trust and related documents with your FOS estate planning attorney.