There are numerous estate planning tools you can use to ensure your heirs receive your assets after you are gone. A revocable living trust is a very useful tool in this case, but only when creators use it correctly. Here are some important points to keep in mind when creating your living trust.
Creating the trust is really just the first step. You must also take steps to fund the trust with your assets and property. How you do this typically depends on the type of assets you are transferring over. When it comes to real estate, you will need to alter deeds so they now show ownership of the trust. For any properties that have titles, such as vehicles, they will also need to be changed to reflect this new ownership.
Financial accounts and life insurance policies can also be owned by the trust. In this case, you will need to submit a special form to the bank or entity that manages the account. This form reflects that you are no longer the owner of the proceeds of the account, which then puts it is into the trust officially. When you fail to fund the trust properly, none of your assets will be protected.
These assets are likely to pass through probate, which is an expensive and costly process that requires proving the will valid. Probate is also the process of identifying and paying creditors, as well as dispersing assets to heirs according to your wishes. Trusts not only help you avoid probate, but they can also be structured in such a way that you have more control over how your assets are dispersed.