So if a family has a trust, then everything's good right? Well... sometimes that's not true. Many people purchase a trust plan and think that is the end of it. Whether it came from a lawyer or from computer program, they are likely to put the documents on a shelf and forget about them. Unfortunately, far too many "trust mill" companies neglect to explain to their clients that in order for their plan to work the trust needs to be funded.
What is funding?
When that happens, an estate has to go through probate (remember we wanted to avoid that) in order for the estate property to be put into the trust through a pour-over will. That means that the estate still bears probate fees and costs, and the trustee can't do anything with the property until the probate resolves. But at least it follows the trust provisions from that point on.
A proper trust plan needs to account for all estate property and either own all probatable property outright or as a payable on death beneficiary so that the trustee can actually manage the estate assets. While most estate planners fund the estate's primary residence, they often do not fund or even talk about funding anything else- doing their clients a great disservice. Funding can be achieved fairly inexepensively thorugh a little bit of self study or a funding service. But to really have the trust work properly funding needs to be updated every time a major asset is purchased or sold from the estate. New house? Needs to go in the trust. New bank account? Into the trust. New insurance policy? Payable to the trust. You get the picture.
At Inter Vivos, we ensure that every trust plan is properly funded so that it works the way it should. Let Us Earn Your Family's Trust!