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Why it is important to fully fund a trust

When people in Louisiana plan for the future, trusts can be an essential part of an estate plan. The flexibility and control that they provide can help people to create a comprehensive plan for their assets that supports their loved ones over time and avoids the difficulties that can come with probate. However, in order to make a trust operational, it is crucial to not only create the relevant trust documents but also to make sure that the trust is fully funded with all of the property that is to be included.

For example, many people include real estate in their trusts. Transferring real estate requires issuing a new deed to the property, so it is formally transferred from the current owner to the newly created trust, with the owner as trustee. This deed will need to be recorded in order to change the official owner on file. In addition, there can be some other important housekeeping tasks that can accompany the re-titling of real estate in the name of a trust. Homeowners may need to re-file for tax exemptions and will need to inform their homeowners' insurance providers of the change.

Other types of property must also be transferred into the trust. For personal property like furniture, electronics or appliances, writing out a bill of sale to the trust is likely to be sufficient. However, for property that has a title, like a car, formally changing the title is necessary in order to effectively transfer it to the trust.

An estate planning attorney can work with a person planning for the future to ensure that all of the property desired is properly transferred to the trust. This can include bank accounts, investment funds and other properties. In addition, the lawyer can help people to develop a complete estate plan, including wills, powers of attorney and other key documents.

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