Make Sure Your Revocable Living Trust Is Properly Funded

Author

Safe Harbor Law Firm

For more information about the author, click to view their website: https://safeharborlawfirm.com/

Posted on

Feb 29, 2024

Book/Edition

Florida - Southwest

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You’ve taken the time to plan for the financial well-being of your loved ones and yourself. You’ve created a customized estate plan to address your goals and concerns. Your plan includes one of the most powerful estate planning tools out there, the Revocable Living Trust, which allows your heirs to avoid probate upon your death and provide for management of your assets without interference from the court should you become disabled or otherwise incapacitated.

All is well and good—unless you have not taken the steps necessary to fund your trust. Without proper funding, your trust is worth no more than the paper it is written on.

It’s hard to believe, but many families take the time to create a comprehensive estate plan, together with a Revocable Living Trust, then fail to properly fund the trust. And even though a Will may provide that all assets pour over into your trust for further disposition, this takes place only after said assets pass through probate, thereby negating one of the primary benefits of creating the trust in the first place.

Another important factor to consider is that assets such as life insurance, individual retirement accounts and pension plans pass to designated beneficiaries. If the trust is not named as the beneficiary of such assets, they will not be held (and protected) by the trust. Likewise, assets held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship will go to the surviving joint tenant, not the trust.  In addition, assets held in your name alone will not go to the trust until probate has been completed, which can take several months, a year, and sometimes even longer.

Given all of this, it is extremely important for you to review all of your assets to determine which titles should be changed to your trust. Assets you will want to review, and possibly title to your trust, include all of the following:

  • Bank accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Investment accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Stocks and bonds held in certificate form
  • Real property
  • Tangible personal property such as art, rugs, jewelry, vehicles, etc.
  • Promissory notes
  • Closely-held business interests

We can counsel you on the best strategies to employ so that your assets are correctly titled and your trust properly funded to achieve your goals and ensure your wishes are carried out.

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Safe Harbor Law Firm

Elder Law 28901 Trails Edge Blvd, Suite 204, Bonita Springs, Florida, 34134

At Safe Harbor Law Firm (formally known as Buff Law Firm PLLC), we focus on estate planning, elder law, and closely related practice areas. Our true focus, however, is helping families plan for and take control of their future. This can involve:Ensuring your assets will go to the people you want, when you want, in the manner you want after you pass awayPreparing for the possibility that you or your spouse will need expensive long-term careand helping you find ways to pay for itEnsuring that people you trust have the authority to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacityProtecting your assets and those of your heirs against threats such as creditors, lawsuits, divorce, the high cost of long-term care, and moreGuiding your loved ones through the probate and/or trust administration processSafe Harbor Law Firm has helped families from all walks of life find solutions to challenges like these and many more. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you. Ultimately, our goal is to help you enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a plan in place for the future. We invite you to contact us for a personal meeting to discuss your particular needs and goals.