Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC

Mistakes to avoid with revocable trusts

One of the tools Connecticut residents can use in their estate plans is a revocable trust. However, it is important that they make the most of the investment they pay in legal fees to ensure that they are using the trust to its full potential and that their beneficiaries are able to take part in its value.

One mistake to be avoided is not moving the titles of assets to the trust. If the assets are not under the ownership of the trust, they will be subject to the probate process and the terms of the trust will be not able to be enforced for them. Funding a revocable trust requires changing the information on real estate deeds and recording them as required by local law. For vehicles, the titles will have to re-registered, specifying that the new owner is the trust.

To transfer financial accounts into the possession of a living trust, financial services firms generally require the owner to complete a form. It may also be necessary to provide a copy of the full trust agreement or certificate of trust. Some financial institutions do not require that the names on preprinted checks be changed. However, the trust's ownership of the account will have to be reflected in the financial institution's records and on the account statements.

An attorney who provides estate planning services may advise clients of the appropriate type of legal devices to have in order to protect and manage their assets and ensure that their wishes are followed should they become incapacitated. The attorney may advise how certain vehicles may be used to keep assets out of the probate process and to ensure that the assets are distributed to beneficiaries in a timely manner.

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