Living trusts are becoming a popular way to transfer assets without going through probate court. Please understand however that your living trust does absolutely nothing for you until you transfer your assets into it. The following are a few things you can do now to successfully establish and fund your trust:
1) Take an inventory: create a list of all your assets (everything you own – whether fully or partially)
2)Place your assets in five main categories: each category will have a different procedure for transferring the assets into your trust:
i) Category 1-Real Property: this should include your residence, secondary homes, income property, and any other real estate where you hold a full or partial interest.
ii) Category 2 – Personal Property: which would include your tangible personal property such as furniture, antiques, art, and other collectibles. Depending on the value of your vehicle or boat, you may have additional steps to follow to transfer those to your trust.
iii) Category 3 – Money Accounts or Cash accounts: this includes checking and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit and money market accounts.
iv) Category 4 – Financial Instruments: including stocks and bonds in both privately and publicly held corporations. Mutual funds should also be included in this category.
v) Category 5 – Other Assets: this would include assets such as retirement accounts, pensions, and life insurance policies. Consulting with a tax professional is strongly recommended before transferring such accounts to your living trust because there may be some tax consequences/implications
There may be other considerations and categories depending on your particular set of circumstances. Please contact us to further discuss how we can help you with your legacy planning and trust needs!
Call us at 404.410.3075 or schedule your consult on this website.