Hi, I’m Dan Weiner, founder of Weiner Law. I’m often asked about trust funding – what does it mean to fund your trust?
Funding your trust is often the most overlooked process of estate planning, but it’s the most crucial step after establishing your trust. Most of our clients engage our law firm to establish a plan that minimizes their family’s chance of having to go through probate court should they pass away.
Use Your Trust To Avoid Probate
In order to avoid probate, assets need to be moved out of your name and into the name of the trust, or assets will remain in your name but have the trust listed as the beneficiary. The process of transferring assets from your name into the trust or changing beneficiaries is referred to as funding.
While you’re on the right track by creating a trust, clients must take this second step to achieve their goals of preventing the need for probate. We understand that the funding process can be overwhelming. Therefore, as part of our services, we take an in-depth look at your assets and walk you through the process step by step to ensure your trust is properly funded.
Maintain Proper Funding For Your Trust
We also create an asset list for you that can be added to over time. That asset list will include real estate, as well as bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, and any other assets that you own. Specific instructions are given for each account on the list, so you can check each asset off as you go when you’re funding your trust.
We meet with you about a month after you create your trust so that we can check in with you and verify that your trust has been properly funded. We then meet with you at least every three years to ensure that any new assets that you’ve acquired after your trust has been set up have been properly transferred into the trust.
Trust planning is not just about attaining a set of documents. Trust funding is equally as important.
Funding your trust is a crucial but often overlooked step in estate planning. To avoid probate, assets should be transferred to the trust or have the trust listed as the beneficiary. In Weiner Law, we emphasize the importance of funding your trust to minimize the chances of probate court involvement. Remember, trust planning is not just about documents, funding is equally essential.
Contact a San Diego trusts attorney for more information.