You should own your property in accordance with your needs, goals, and up-to-date estate plan, designed by a qualified estate planning attorney. Proper asset ownership is a key to a successfulestate plan; and, most people don’t own their assets properly. If you have a revocable living trust, fund your assets into the trust.
If you do trust-based planning, your estate planning attorney will tell you to fund all of your assets into the name of your trust. This is the only way your trust will work and won’t be just a pretty pile of papers in your desk drawer.
How to Fund Your Trust
For example, you change the name on your bank accounts and investment accounts, to the name of your trust.
You transfer the title of your house to the name of the trust, and change the beneficiary of your life insurance policies, annuities, and retirement plans to the name of your trust.
Assets Your Trust WON’T Control
Your trust can only control assets in its own name; therefore, your trust does NOT control:
- Assets in your individual name
- Assets you own jointly with someone else
- Tenancy by the entireties assets
- Assets with a beneficiary designation, unless the title and beneficiary have been changed to the trust
- Assets with a “pay on death” or “transfer on death” designation
- Assets with a “in trust for” designation
- Assets in your spouse or children’s names
If you’ve done estate planning, specifically trust planning, make sure that your plan actually works by making sure you own your assets properly. For guidance on your individual situation, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.