A good revocable living trust allows you to transfer your property outside of the clunky, and often costly, probate process. Yet creating a living trust, while beneficial, is only the first steps in its effective use. The next step is to transfer your assets to the trust, a process known as funding. While your attorney will walk you through the specifics of the funding process there are several issues you’ll want to be ready for.
Transferring Bank Accounts
Most banks make it relatively simple to transfer checking accounts, savings accounts, or any other account you have with them to the trust. For many, all you have to do is fill out a single form and submit it to the appropriate department. Other banks may require you to perform a few more steps, and you may need to physically go to the bank and speak to a representative in some situations.
Transferring Stock or Investment Accounts
It’s also common to transfer investments to your living trust, but these may take a little more effort. Like bank accounts, transferring investment accounts will differ depending on the individual requirements of your brokerage. You’ll likely have to fill out some paperwork and may have to open a new account under the trust’s name.
Transferring Real Property
If you want to transfer real estate you’ll have to consult with your estate planning attorney. Real estate transfers are much more involved and require properly transferring ownership in accordance with state law. State laws can differ significantly, so it’s best to speak to your attorney about the particulars in your area.
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