When people first learn about trusts they often get excited at the idea that these estate planning devices can provide so many benefits. While your estate planning lawyer will discuss the kinds of trust available to you and explain what each of them can offer, there are some practical steps that you can take to greatly help you make sure you create your trust efficiently.
One of the best things you can do is to sit down and create a schedule of assets. With the schedule of assets, sometimes known as a trust inventory, you can be sure that you have the right information at hand when getting down to the business of properly transferring all of your property into the trust’s name. Here is what you need to know about trust schedules of assets.
Property Descriptions For All of Your Trusts
Every trust you create will have specific property that you transfer into it. The process of transferring property into a trust is called funding. Once the property is under the trust’s name, that trust property becomes known as the trust corpus.
So, your schedule of assets will serve as your road map for both the funding process and as an inventory of the trust corpus.
To begin with, you’ll want to get a list of all of your assets. In many situations, people choose to create a list of all the property they own even if they do not intend to later transfer some of that property into the trust’s name. Once you can review a comprehensive list of all your property, you can then decide what needs to be transferred.
Steps Involved in Transferring Property
The process you have to go through to fund the trust will differ depending on the kind of property you are transferring. For example, transferring real estate from your name into the trust’s name will involve different rules and procedures depending on where you live and where the property is located. Also, if you want to transfer funds you have in, for example, a bank account, you will have to contact the financial institution and inquire about their transfer procedures.
You’re schedule of assets can serve as a convenient way of keeping track of all these requirements. For example, once you determine the appropriate steps, you can include a checklist of each step you have to take next to the listed item.
Of course, every trust is different, and each calls for different considerations. Whether you are creating a trust to avoid probate, a trust to protect assets, the types of steps and the specific property you will transfer into the trust will differ. Talk to your estate planning lawyer to make sure you understand the process. If you ever have any questions about whether property should or should not be transferred into the trust’s name, you can use your trust schedule of assets as a way to write down your concerns so you remember to ask your attorney about them.
You can learn a lot more about living trusts at one of our upcoming free seminars. Check our list of updated events, and then contact our office for registration details.