Executing your revocable trust is only the first step in ensuring your assets will avoid probate. Arguably, the more important step, is titling your assets to your trust. While completing and signing your trust is a tremendous accomplishment, the document itself will not afford you and your loved ones the protection you seek until your assets are titled to it.
Your trust is a set of instructions to the trustee(s) that will only govern assets that are titled to the trust. Titling your assets, otherwise known as “funding the trust,” brings those assets under the authority and control of your trustee. Otherwise, they remain under your individual control and ultimately the control of the probate court should you die.
There are different requirements to title assets to your trust depending upon the type of asset. For example, a home will require that you execute a deed, while a bank account will not.
It is highly recommended that you review asset titles at least once every two years to be sure that the titles are up to date. It is also recommended that you review and update your trust schedules at that time.
Should you identify that an asset is not properly titled prior to the death of the owner, it should be immediately corrected. An attorney may assist. Should you determine that an asset was not properly titled after the death of the owner, you may need to go through probate. However, depending upon the specific facts and circumstances, it is possible that a qualified estate administration attorney may be able to assist you in obtaining proper title by court petition or otherwise. If this occurs, consult an attorney immediately. For assistance on asset titling and other trust matters contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at Chauvel & Glatt.
This material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute legal advice. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500 for legal assistance near you. (photo credit: Depositphotos.com)