Living Trusts & Bank Accounts

by Maggie Lourdes

You can place your bank accounts and other assets in a living trust so they bypass probate when you die. Avoiding probate generally saves time and money for the beneficiaries of your estate. You must physically change the titles of your assets from your individual name to the name of your trust for them to skip the probate process upon your death.

Titling Bank Accounts

You can easily transfer your bank account into your living trust. A bank generally requires proof of your trust and may require completion of a bank form before making account transfers. Your bank may accept a certificate of trust in lieu of a full copy of your trust. A certificate provides you greater privacy because it only identifies basic information, such as the trust's name and trustee. Generally, you maintain full control over your bank assets after titling them into trust -- and you can convey bank accounts back out of the trust at any time.