Don’t forget to fund your trust

Most people who have an estate plan have created a trust. But one thing many people forget is rather important: funding the trust.

During the lifetime of the grantor who created the trust, the trustee can use the trust assets for the grantor’s benefit, if the grantor becomes incapacitated.

If you want the trustee to do that, you must be sure your trust is funded.

To fund the trust during your lifetime, you must change the title of any assets you own to the trustee. Assets might include real estate, bank accounts, stock and mutual fund accounts and/or businesses. In some cases, you, as the grantor, will also be the owner of the trust. The new title would then say that the grantor owns the trust as the trustee.

Another option is funding your trust at your death by making your trust the beneficiary of certain assets, such as retirement accounts and life insurance proceeds.

When you pass, the assets in the trust are administered for the benefit of your beneficiaries, who are named in the trust. Your will should state that your remaining assets will go into the trust. That way, you avoid your beneficiaries going through a long probate process to administer your assets.

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