When creating your estate plan, your estate planning attorney may have helped you establish a trust agreement. Although you may think that you are done once your estate planning documents are signed, the next step in the process is to fund the trust you have created to ensure all the measures you put in place can be followed when the time comes.
There are many benefits to trust agreements. For example, a revocable trust agreement is a vehicle by which you can provide for your loved ones after you are gone. “Revocable” means that you can change the details of the trust at any time, thus, if circumstances in your life take a turn in any way, you can readjust your estate plan as needed.
Trust agreements have many benefits, and there are many different forms of trusts that accomplish different objectives for your legacy. We can use them in your estate planning to address specific issues in your planning and reach comprehensive, beneficial solutions such as:
- Mitigating Taxes
- Avoiding Probate
- Providing for and Protecting Younger Family Members
- Protecting Your Assets While You Are Still Alive
- Creating a Lasting Legacy
- Ensuring Your Wishes Are Respected
Your trust agreement can also protect your assets from probate, which is the legal process that is mandated when your assets are owned solely in your name at death and have no legal successor in place that may act without court approval. Probate can be a costly and lengthy endeavor, and can delay the settlement of your estate. When you have a trust agreement, however, this helps to mitigate the associated costs and provides an irrefutable statement of your final wishes.
Until it is funded, though, your trust cannot fulfill its purpose within your estate plan. For the trust to be functional, you must transfer assets into it, which means reassigning titles so that the trust is the owner of record, also known as “funding” your trust. You can transfer anything you like into your trust, including bank accounts, investments, property, and items of value. For any of these assets, and more, it is best to ask your experienced estate planning attorney for direction. He or she will let you know what you should, and possibly should not, fund into your trust agreement.
Ultimately, funding your trust may take some time and effort on your part, but it must be done to ensure that the administration of your estate can be completed according to your wishes. If you have questions about funding your trust or any aspect of estate planning, you may schedule an appointment with our office today, or any time in the future.