Carlsbad Trust attorney, Andrew Fesler, gives insight into funding a trust; what is meant by that, and some of the ways to accomplish this. As a leading attorney in Carlsbad, California, he specializes in estate administration and probate, trust administration, advance directives, business succession planning, and all aspects of estate planning including setting up a trust. To learn more about trusts, how to fund a trust, or any element of estate planning, please contact our office, The Law Office of Andrew Fesler at (760) 444-0943 or message us online.
“Funding a trust just means transferring all the assets that the clients own currently in their own names or name into the name of the trust, so the process varies depending on what kind of asset we’re talking about. If we’re talking about real estate, we need to create and execute a deed, transferring the property into the trust, and then getting it recorded with the recorder. I’ve had some clients that I’m reviewing documents for show up. They have this nicely executed deed, but it’s never been recorded. Those kinds of things need to be taken all the way to their end. We need to transfer checking and savings accounts into the trust, and that’s usually a simple matter of 10 or 15 minutes at the bank. The client goes in, fills out a form, signs a new signature card, and the bank transfers their current accounts into the name of their trust. We also need to transfer brokerage accounts into the trust.
Now, retirement accounts don’t actually get transferred into a trust, but we want to make sure that we, during this whole process, look at the beneficiary forms for any IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, any other qualified account because we want to make sure that the beneficiary forms either name the client’s spouse, their children, possibly their trust, as the beneficiary of those accounts. Then there are other more esoteric assets like oil and mineral rights, those kinds of things that can be a little bit more of a process to transfer but, nevertheless, are just as important. If we don’t get all those assets into the trust, we really haven’t accomplished what we want to.”