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Keep your Affairs out of Court: Put your Property in the Name of the Trust

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AKA: Avoiding probate, (How to fund the trust): If You Have a Revocable Living Trust, congratulations. Thats just the first step… DONT FORGET TO TRANSFER ALL ASSETS TO THE NAME OF THE TRUST.

There’s a big estate planning problem out there. The titling process is getting neglected causing families to go through probate.

However, when the assets are put in the name of the revocable living trust, the estate settlement is a beautiful thing. But your living trust is only as effective as the assets that you title into it. (https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/revocable-vs-irrevocable-living-trusts-which-one-is-right-for-you)

Many fully funded trusts are settled without court involvement if your put all assets and property in the name of the trust.

There are a few reasons that trusts don’t get funded. People forget they owned that piece of property. People thought they had beneficiaries on all accounts. People didn’t think about buying the new property in the name of their trust. People didn’t think about opening that new account in the name of their trust. People may not have known that they needed to transfer their LLC to their trust. They kept a minimal amount of shares out of the trust. They thought their attorney was going to handle getting everything in the trust, but an attorney can only transfer certain assets into your trust.

Do these three things:

(1)  If you are an estate planning attorney, share with your clients along with a note to contact you if they need legal help. If you are a financial advisor, share with your clients and prospective clients along with a note to contact you if they need help titling and beneficiary designations.

(2) Fund your trust. While the process isn’t difficult, it’s easy to get sidetracked or procrastinate. Just make funding your trust a priority and keep going until you’re finished. Take a look at everything you have this is titled. Determine whether assets are probate or non probate. Probate assets, in general, go in your trust. There are many excellent attorneys around the country willing to help. If you need a lawyer’s help, get it. While you are at it, update your beneficiary designations.

(3) Write a Comment. if this video can help one person avoid probate and make things easier for their survivors, it’s worth it. Comment with your positive comments and experiences on youtube or linkedin or wherever else you might see or hear this, so that others can and will benefit from your experience.

Now go leave a legacy! Your family will thank you for it.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read on this site. Using this site or communicating with Rabalais Estate Planning, LLC, through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship.

Paul Rabalais
Louisiana Estate Planning Attorney
http://www.RabalaisEstatePlanning.com
Phone: (225) 329-2450

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Related:

Revocable vs. Irrevocable Living Trusts – Which One is Right for You?

by Michelle Kaminsky, Esq.
Freelance writer
Revocable vs. Irrevocable Living Trusts – Which One is Right for You?
by Michelle Kaminsky, Esq., March 2015
Living trusts can be a great option for distributing your assets after your death. If you’re thinking of creating a trust as part of your estate plan, you’ll want to learn the differences between a revocable living trust and an irrevocable living trust so you can make the best decision as to which one is right for you.
What Is a Living Trust?
Before moving on to the distinctions between revocable and irrevocable trusts, it is important to note that both trusts are an “inter vivos” trust: a living trust so named because you create it while you’re still alive.
A living trust is a written legal document through which your assets are placed into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime and then transferred to designated beneficiaries at your death by your chosen representative, called a “successor trustee.”
To get the most benefit out of a trust, you should make sure everything you own is held in trust form. No assets become a part of the trust without specific inclusion, so it is important that you revisit your trust provisions from time to time to ensure all of your assets are included.
Now you are ready to move on to whether you want to make your living trust revocable or irrevocable.
Revocable Living Trust vs. Irrevocable Living Trust
With a revocable living trust, the person creating it can later change his or her mind regarding not only the property placed into it, but also the existence of the trust itself.
Some of the benefits of a living revocable trust include the following:
1. Avoids probate, which can mean a faster distribution of assets to your heirs.
2. Potential money savings, though this depends on your financial situation, and remember it does cost something to set up a trust on the front end.
3. More privacy than a will, whose provisions are made public after your death; a living trust’s provisions are kept private.
4. Ability to choose someone to manage your affairs without court intervention should you become incapacitated. Also, since the trust is revocable, if you dispute your incapacity, you can retain control yourself.
An irrevocable trust, on the other hand, is just as it sounds—not revocable. That is, once you put property into it, you cannot retrieve it as it belongs to the trust. Accordingly, this property is not included in your estate’s value for estate tax purposes. This is one big potential benefit of an irrevocable trust, although if your total estate value falls under the federal estate tax exemption, this probably isn’t a concern for you anyway.
Final Living Trust Considerations
Remember that when you establish trusts, be aware of any potential tax consequences (gift, estate and state inheritance) involved with property transfers, and note that you should always have a pour-over will to catch any assets that didn’t make it into the trust or your last will and testament.
Now that you know the differences between the two types of living trusts, you’re ready to move on to the next step in creating your estate plan.
Create a revocable living trust through LegalZoom. Or if you want to create an irrevocable living trust, you can speak to an attorney through the LegalZoom personal legal plan.
Ensure your loved ones and property are protected START MY ESTATE PLAN

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/revocable-vs-irrevocable-living-trusts-which-one-is-right-for-you

 

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