The concept of “funding” a Trust involves transferring assets to the ownership of the trust. These assets include real property, financial accounts and other types of property. Fully funding a Trust ensures that you and your beneficiaries receive the most benefit out of the trust that has been created. The consequence of failing to “fund” a trust is costly in time and money as the law often requires that the assets not funded are then subject to probate (read more about probate here).
If the value of assets subject to probate exceeds $100,000 then the court process known as probate must ensue to legally transfer those assets to intended beneficiaries, which involves legal fees, court costs, time and privacy that could have been avoided. A funded trust ensures your assets go to your heirs as you intended with little to no intervention from the judiciary. Taking the time to properly fund your Revocable Trust once it has been established also eliminates the waiting period that comes with administering an estate through probate (i.e. a minimum of 6 months). The documents required to be filed must be produced by an attorney and disclose the assets and liabilities of the deceased whose estate is being probated. By contrast, avoiding these drawbacks can be easily accomplished by individuals who choose to create a trust in general. So, in creating a trust-centered estate plan, the “funding” process must not be forgotten.
Our office can assist with drafting and implementing an estate plan designed to suit individuals who desire to avoid probate, including conducting an effective inventory of assets. If you are interested in creating or reviewing an estate plan and an audit of your assets for “funding” purposes, please contact our office to receive a high quality professional experience.