Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Putting Assets into Trust

Dan is taking care of his daughter, Ann, after his beloved Abby’s death in a car crash.  Last week, we wrote about Dan deciding to create a trust that protects both Ann and him in the event he becomes disabled or passes away unexpectedly. 

To make his trust work, Dan needs to transfer his assets into his trust.  Most transfers are done by changing the owner of his assets to his trust, with his name as trustee instead of as an individual. 

His checking account, for example, will no longer be in his own individual name.  Instead, his monthly statement will list him as trustee of his trust.  His printed checks need not be changed, but his statement confirms that the bank paperwork has been properly changed.

Certain assets, like his life insurance, 401K plan and IRAs will not immediately change ownership.  Instead, the beneficiary designations of those items will be adjusted to name his trust rather than another person or his own estate. 

This process is often called “funding” the trust and is absolutely essential for Dan to actually receive all the important benefits of having his trust, minimizing possible guardianship in the event of disability and avoiding probate after death.

For help properly creating and funding your own trust, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an appointment.

© 2014 Gruber Law Office

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