Many of my clients come to me with Trusts that have not been funded or fully funded. What does that mean? It means they had a trust document drawn up by their lawyer in the past, but everything they own is not in the trust. Their house is not in the trust, bank and stock accounts, etc. are not in the trust. They likely did the trust to avoid probate and in fact will not only have probate, but will also have to deal with the trust, who is likely the beneficiary in the Will. What should you do to prevent this? Check out my Determining Your Net Worth hand out and make sure that everything on that worksheet is either in your trust or has beneficiaries (IRA’s, 401Ks cannot be in the trust). Is the house in the trust? Are the timeshares in the trust? What about the cars? In order to have that seamless transition you are expecting when you pass you need to make sure EVERYTHING you own has been included. It doesn’t matter how big or small that account is. The details matter. Learn more about trusts in my hand out – Trusts are they Right for Me?
– Kathryn Bedell, Esq.