by Bruce L. Woodbury, Esq.
Jolley, Urga, Wirth, Woodbury & Standish
Funding Your Living Trust
On many occasions clients have asked me to review their living trusts which were prepared years earlier by other attorneys. As part of my review of their trust documents and property, I always ask about how each asset is titled. All too often, we discover that one or more of such assets are not owned by the trust.
Boulder City Magazine®
|Surprisingly, many clients who have paid large fees to have a trust created have not been given any advice or information about the necessity of transferring ownership of their holdings to their trust.
Living trusts represent excellent estate-planning steps for avoiding probate, as well as for minimizing or eliminating federal estate tax liability upon death.
However, signing the trust documents in your lawyer’s office is only the first essential step to achieve these goals. It is also necessary to transfer the ownership of all of your real estate, investments, business entities and accounts to the trust.
Equally important is the awareness that additional assets acquired in the years after a trust is created must be titled in the name of the trust. Most individuals or couples serve as their own trustees for their trusts, so complete control over all assets is retained over the trust assets.
A good estate-planning attorney will fully explain the need to properly fund the trust and actively assist in transferring the client’s property to the trust. Detailed written instructions regarding current and future assets should also be provided to the client.
Unfortunately, I have been retained many times by family members or other beneficiaries of deceased persons who thought they had protected their estates through a living trust but had failed to properly transfer or acquire title to valuable assets. Invariably, the result is unnecessary expense and delay in the distribution of the estate.
Bruce L. Woodbury is an attorney with the law firm of Jolley Urga Wirth Woodbury & Standish. The firm has offices in Boulder City and Las Vegas.
To contact Bruce visit his website at www.juwws.com.
P.O. Box 61901
Boulder City, Nevada 89006
Phone (702) 294-1392 Fax (702) 294-1392
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