What Does it Mean to “Fund” a Trust?
When a Revocable Trust is established, the individual signing the trust must transfer assets to the newly created trust. The process of retitling assets to the Revocable Trust is known as “funding the trust”, or simply “funding”. While creating a Revocable Trust is an important first step in the estate planning process for many individuals and couples, funding the trust it is essential to accomplish its true purpose.
Your funding efforts may include completing paperwork to transfer real estate, bank and investment accounts, and automobiles to your trust. Depending on the number of assets that are to be transferred to the trust the process can be time consuming, but with proper guidance and organization, the task can be accomplished. These steps are critical in order to avoid probate, which today with the estate tax changes, is one of the main benefits of a trust-centered estate plan. In addition, completion of this process ensures that assets are managed and controlled in a manner that is consistent with the intentions of the maker of the trust.
Our office can assist with drafting and implementing an estate plan designed to suit individual needs with the goal of avoiding probate if that is your desire. If you are interested in creating or reviewing an estate plan, contact our office for high quality, professional estate planning services.