How to Add Assets to a Living Trust

By David Carnes

A trust allows you to place your assets under the control of a trustee you select, for eventual distribution to the trust beneficiaries. A trust is useless, however, until you transfer assets to it in accordance with appropriate legal procedures. If your trust is irrevocable, its assets are no longer yours -- they belong to the beneficiaries under the terms of the trust deed, even though legal title is vested in the trustee.

A trust allows you to place your assets under the control of a trustee you select, for eventual distribution to the trust beneficiaries. A trust is useless, however, until you transfer assets to it in accordance with appropriate legal procedures. If your trust is irrevocable, its assets are no longer yours -- they belong to the beneficiaries under the terms of the trust deed, even though legal title is vested in the trustee.

Step 1

Amend the property schedule, in duplicate, whenever you add more assets to the trust. Sign and date the amended property schedule in the presence of a notary public, and deliver one copy to the trustee.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now

Step 2

Create a notice of assignment, in duplicate, in which you state that you are transferring all right, title and interest in the items listed in the property schedule to the trustee under the terms of the trust deed. Sign the notices in the presence of a notary public, and list the place and date that the notices were signed. Deliver one copy to the trustee and keep one copy for yourself. The notice of assignment is particularly important with respect to items of property that cannot be titled, such as household furnishings, because it is the only evidence that these items belong to the trust.

Step 3

Open a trust savings account in the name of your trustee and deposit any cash you are donating to the trust into this account. Although different banks may impose different restrictions on how you may name a savings account, the account must be in the trustee's name and should indicate that he holds account funds on behalf of the trust -- for example, "John Doe, Trustee for the Brent Hopkins Trust Fund."

Step 4

Sign corporate share certificates over to the trustee, in the name of the trust, by filling out the transfer section on the back of the share certificates. Create a notice of assignment that refers exclusively to the share certificates, and deliver the share certificates and the share transfer notice of assignment to the trustee. Depending on the terms of company bylaws, the trustee may be able to have new share certificates issued in his name.

Step 5

Draw up a quitclaim deed to grant any real estate you wish to place in the trust to the trustee, after paying off any encumbrances such as a mortgage or a property tax bill. Sign the deed, record the transfer at the county land recorder's office, and deliver the deed to the trustee. Although you may draft your own deed, many county land recorders offer standardized, "fill in the blank" forms.

Step 6

Transfer title to any vehicles you are donating to the trust by filling out and signing the transfer section on the back of the title document, after paying off any liens on the vehicle. Some states require the trustee to sign this section as well. Record the transfer at the local Division of Motor Vehicles, or its equivalent in your state, and have the DMV issue a new title in the name of the trustee.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now
How to Finalize a Living Trust

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Void or Cancel a Living Trust

A living trust can be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust can be canceled during the lifetime of the person who created the trust, while an irrevocable trust usually cannot be canceled. There is more than one way to eliminate a revocable trust. One way, and perhaps the most straightforward, is to revoke it by way of a signed document. Another way is to remove all the property held by the trust because a trust that does not hold property is not a trust.

How to Transfer a Vanguard Account to a Living Trust

Transferring property to a living trust is an important step in setting up the trust. Investment accounts, such as those offered by Vanguard, allow an investor to list a beneficiary who will receive the proceeds of the account upon the account holder’s death. Problems arise, however, if the beneficiary dies before the account holder. It is for this reason that transferring these types of accounts to your trust is prudent financial planning.

How to Transfer Real Estate to a Revocable Trust in New York State

A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, is an entity created for the purpose of managing assets, which the creator can end at any time. The trust agreement creates the trust, sets all its terms and names the person overseeing the trust, known as a trustee. Usually, if you create a revocable living trust, you're also the trustee. Once you've created a trust in New York, you fund it by transferring your assets into the trust's name. If you want to place real estate into your trust, you can prepare and record a new deed to transfer the ownership interest from yourself to your trust.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

How to Create a Legal Trust

A trust is a legal instrument that is useful for tax and estate planning. Under a trust arrangement, a trustee manages ...

Can a Trustee Sign the Title of a Car Over Upon the Death of the Owner?

Many people establish trusts to avoid probate proceedings for their heirs. Revocable trusts are the most popular choice ...

How to Transfer a Living Trust to an Individual

Transferring a trust to an individual can mean one of two things. To execute a trust, its property must be transferred ...

How to Record a Trust Transfer Deed

Trust Transfer Deeds are used to create revocable living trusts. These legal devices transfer property a donor owns ...

Browse by category