Many people think that trusts are only for the wealthy. The truth is that a trust can benefit nearly anyone that has assets. Why? The reason is simple – probate is expensive and is public record. It is well worth the investment in a trust to ensure that your assets are transferred to whom you want in a cost effective and private manner.
If you have a trust, you’re on the right path. Are you making sure to put new assets into the trust as they are acquired? For example, if you sold your house and purchased a new one, is that new house titled in the name of your trust?
How about that business you started or purchased? You formed a new LLC or corporation to conduct business. Who is the member – you or your trust? Who owns the stock – you or your trust?
Holding shares or membership in the name of your trust gives you full control while simultaneously easing the way for a successor trustee to handle business requirements if you unexpectedly died or became incapacitated.
Title to your currently owned and newly acquired assets should be put in the name of your trust because an unfunded or partially funded revocable living trust does not avoid probate.
Additionally, you should review your estate plan with an attorney every two to three years because all estate plans require on-going maintenance. More specifically, changes in your family, changes in your assets and net worth, and changes in the tax laws can all significantly impact the effectiveness of your plan.
If you haven’t had your estate plan reviewed lately, give us a call and let’s make sure your estate plan is properly funded and reflects your current objectives.