Understanding how to fund a trust is essential for anyone creating an estate plan in the Port St. Lucie, Florida area. Funding a trust is simply the terms attorneys use to describe the process of taking an individual’s property and transferring it into the trust’s name, so the trust becomes the new owner. The trust funding process is essential if you want to get the most out of the trust, and knowing how to fund any trust you create is important regardless of the kind of trust you create.
How to Fund a Trust: Property Assignment
One of the easiest ways to fund a trust is to use a property assignment. With a property assignment, the trust maker can take his or her personal property and transfer it to the trust with a simple document. The assignment document is usually fairly simple, describing the property being transferred, naming the trust, naming the trustee, and including some basic terms or legal ‘boilerplate.’ Your attorney will draft the assignment for you, though you will have to sign it.
Property assignments are typically used with personal property that isn’t titled, or which doesn’t have other ownership or transfer requirements associated with it. For example, if you have a collection of valuable artwork, you can usually transfer those assets to your trust by using a properly drafted property assignment.
How to Fund a Trust: Transferring Ownership of a Bank Deposit Box
People with bank deposit boxes, sometimes called safety deposit boxes or known by similar names, can transfer the contents of those boxes to the trust. For example, let’s say you create a revocable living trust and have a bank safe deposit box that holds valuable historical documents. You can fund your trust by transferring ownership of the box to the trustee. You’ll have to contact your bank to find out how to transfer ownership of the box, but it is usually a simple process of filling out a form or two.
How to Fund a Trust: Testamentary Assignments
Another common way people fund a trust is by using their last will and testament to carry out the property transfer after they die. For example, let’s say you create your revocable living trust primarily as a means to transfer inheritances outside of probate. Even if you are careful to fund the trust as completely as possible, you’ll also likely have a ‘pour over’ will that directs that anything you left out of the trust will be transferred after you die. The will must contain terms that direct for the funding of the trust and must also be drafted in compliance with any relevant Florida laws.