When you create a plan for distributing your inheritance, you may choose to use a living trust. This entity can help your family avoid probate while keeping your finances private. But once you create your trust, you must fund it to make it useful.
Since a trust is a separate entity, you will need to transfer ownership of your assets to it. But not all your property goes over smoothly. Depending on what you own, you may need to take different steps to place your assets into your trust.
Retitling real estate
For real property and houses that you own, you can transfer the title. This action places your real estate into the ownership of the trust. Since you are the trustee, you still manage the property. But once you pass away, the trust can hold and then distribute the property to your heirs.
Changing ownership of investment accounts
If you own shares of stock or have an investment account, you can also transfer ownership. Like real estate, you retitle the owner of the accounts, placing them in the trust.
Putting in assets without a title
A lot of your assets that you want in the trust won’t have an official title. For this property, you may need to write up a document that assigns these assets to the trust. Family heirlooms, jewelry, antiques and other pieces of value can stay protected from probate when you pass away.
Adding value to your trust makes the trust valuable in multiple ways
Without any assets, your trust is simply a useless entity. But when you transfer your property over, you make it a useful part of a successful estate plan.