Trusts are funded with real property and personal property such as bank or stock accounts. A Will may be in place which provides for a “pour-over” effect leaving the residue of the estate to the provisions of the Trust. But, as time goes on, you may increase your assets and create new stock or bank accounts. What happens if the Trustors are deceased and certain personal property like bank or stock accounts are left out of the Trust?
In situations where the personal assets of the decedent are worth less than $150,000, the California Probate Code allows for an Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property — also known as small estate administration — which allows a successor of the decedent to inherit the personal property without having to go through the lengthy and expensive process of probate.
Of course, the best safeguard is to fund your Trust with all the necessary real and personal property including your bank accounts or stock accounts. Another option is to have joint accounts with your spouse so that in the event of the death of one spouse, the surviving spouse will have access to the funds.
At Chauvel & Glatt, we will assist you in your estate planning and ensure that you have adequately funded your Trust. To learn how our attorneyscan help you and keep your beneficiaries out of probate court, contact us today.