A trust is a legal entity that owns assets that have been transferred into the trust. The “settlor” or “grantor” gives assets to the trustee who will hold legal title to the assets on behalf of the settlor/grantor. After the settlor/grantor dies, the trustee will distribute the assets according to the terms of the trust to the person(s) or organization(s) named as beneficiaries in the trust.
The trust document sets forth instructions naming the person(s) you want to handle your affairs and the beneficiaries you want to receive your assets after you die. A properly drafted revocable living trust can avoid court involvement at your death. It can also provide for the management of your assets in the event you become incapacitated. As long as you are competent, you can change your trust, remove or add assets, or revoke it entirely.
The process of transferring your assets into your trust is called “funding” the trust. In order to be governed by the trust, title to your assets must be changed from your name individually to the name of your trust. There are some assets – including, but not limited to, retirement plans and life insurance policies – that you won’t need to transfer into your trust. That being said, it is absolutely imperative that other assets be transferred into your trust in order to be governed by the trust. Assets not transferred will be subject to probate. We can set up your trust and will provide you with complete and comprehensive instructions on how to transfer your assets into your trust. If you wish, we will complete the funding process for you.