Leaving your Furniture on the Front Lawn?

If you had just bought a new home and packed up all of your belongings to move, you wouldn’t just leave all of your furniture on the front lawn when you got to your new home, would you? Creating a trust and not funding, or moving, your assets into the trust is very much like that.

When looking into Estate Planning, a common misconception is that creating your trust/ signing your carefully planned trust documents is all that needs to be done. Whether you have a trust (revocable or irrevocable) or a will, it is crucial that you align yourassets with your trust.

Asset alignment, or “funding,” can refer to renaming your non-retirement assets (bank accounts, investments, stocks, etc.) under your trusts name, as well as designating your trust as a beneficiary for your retirement accounts and/or insurance policies.One of the main reasons for forming a trust is to avoid probate—a public, time-consuming and (for some states) costly process. Forming the trust is not enough to avoid probate; only the assets that are owned by your trust are protected.

So what goes where? The Asset Integration Worksheet we provide gives specific recommendations on what to do with each of your individual assets. What happens if I pass away before funding my assets? Thanks to the Pour-Over Wills we prepare, any assets that were not moved to your trust by the time you pass will “pour” into your trust, maintaining your privacy; however, they will likely need to go through probate.It is important that your assets align with your plan.

If you are interested in forming a trust to ultimately fund your assets into, or you are simply not sure how to start (or finish) your process, please give us a call 732-521-9455; we exist to help you!

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