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 your assets properly aligned with your estate plan? 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? Is the membership or ownership consistent with your estate plan?
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 generally be titled in the name of your trust because assets outside of the trust may not avoid probate. There are special considerations for certain types of assets such as retirement plans, rental properties and others.
Be sure to review your estate plan with your attorney at least every two to three years to 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 reflects your current objectives and your assets are properly aligned with your plan.