Setting up an estate plan is a great start to accomplishing your estate planning goals. But too many times we take the plan we’ve drawn up and lock it away until it’s needed. In this series, we’ll take a look at what you can do now to make sure that your estate plan will actually meet your goals when it’s time to be carried out.
Part 1: Funding Your Trust
Trusts are an important part of estate plans today. They allow a trustee to manage your property for you and distribute it based on the terms you set out when you created the trust. But in order for the trust to work the way you want it to, you have to fund it. Funding a trust means actually transferring your property to it.
Why is it so important to fund your trust? Because any property that you don’t transfer is subject to probate, along with all of the probate delays and costs. In other words, you can lose one of the most important reasons you set up the trust in the first place.
Some transfers are fairly easy to make. For example, your personal effects were probably transferred to the trust by simply stating that fact in the trust document. Other transfers, like business interests or retirement plans, can be much more complicated and have trade-offs you should discuss with your attorney and/or financial advisor.
You’ve taken the time to create a trust that makes sure your loved ones are taken care of. Properly funding your trust makes sure that those loved ones are supported the way you intended.
Next: Discussing Your Estate Plan