Setting up a trust is a two-part process. People tend to be very good about taking the first step, but then often overlook the second step, which is probably just as important.
The first step is to draft and sign a trust agreement. A trust agreement is sort of like a contract that specifies:
• Who is setting up the trust.
• Who is going to run it. And,
• Who is entitled to receive the trust’s assets, when, and under what conditions.
In the vast majority of cases, the person setting up the trust fills all three roles as long as he or she is alive and able. And then they specify who will fill these roles after they pass away.
The critical second step – the one that so many people forget to do – is fund the trust. That means taking your property and changing the ownership documents, such as the deed or title, so that they identify the trust as the owner of your property instead of you. If you skip this step, a probate process that shouldn’t have been necessary is probably going to be required to get the property into the trust. This will probably result in significant delay, loss of privacy, and at least some of the property passing to people you had not intended.
To learn more about how to properly set up and fund a trust, please gives us a call.