If you do not stay on top of your trust, your heirs could have a hassle in probate court. Many people set up trusts, but forget that their accounts do not “magically flow” into their trust.
Below are a few steps you can take to ensure that your trust is or will be funded successfully.
1. Check all the deeds on your real estate holdings.
“If you have a primary residence, vacation home, timeshare and/or rental property, you’ll want to confirm that these assets are in the name of your trust.”
2. Review your financial statements.
“Gather any bank and investment/brokerage statements that are not part of an IRA or retirement plan and confirm that each of these accounts has your trust listed as the owner.”
3. Examine your annuity and life insurance policies.
“Verify the parties to these contracts: the insured/annuitant, owner, and primary and contingent beneficiaries.”
4. Address IRAs and other retirement plans separately.
“IRAs andretirement plans must be treated on a stand-alone basis when determining whether a trust should be listed as a primary or contingent beneficiary.”
See Michael Clark, Once You Create a Living Trust, Don’t Forget to Fund It, Kiplinger, October 26, 2020.