How to Title Assets for a Trust

By Valerie Stevens

Transferring property from yourself to your revocable or irrevocable trust is known as funding the trust. Only assets that are properly titled to the trust can avoid probate at your death. Exactly which assets you should transfer, depends on your financial picture -- but how you title the assets is the same for various trusts.

Transfer of Real Estate and Vehicles

When you transfer ownership of real estate from yourself to your trust, you grant the property to the trustee of the trust. If your trust is a living trust, you may serve as trustee to retain greater control over your assets. The deed must list the trustee as the recipient of the property, the complete name of the trust and the date it was created. For example, if the trustee is named Frank Smith and the trust was established by Suzy Jones, the deed will read: Frank Smith as Trustee of the Suzy Jones Revocable Trust dated September 20, 2013. The transfer is accomplished by recording the deed at the register of deeds in the county where the property is located. To transfer personal property, such as vehicles, to the trustee, apply to the proper government office in your state.

Other Assets

Bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other similar assets must be retitled to include the precise language naming the trustee as the new owner. If you choose to transfer assets that require named beneficiaries -- such as life insurance policies -- to the trust, you must name the trustee as beneficiary. Many financial institutions have specific forms they require you to fill out; some institutions will ask for a certified copy of your trust, while others will accept a shorter document that provides proof that your trust exists, which is often called a Certification of Trust.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to Sign Documents As a Successor Trustee of a Living Trust
 

References

Related articles

How to Terminate a Living Trust

Any trust that you establish during your lifetime is a "living trust." Living trusts can be revocable, which means that the person creating the trust, known as the "grantor," can terminate it during her lifetime. However, living trusts can also be irrevocable, which means the grantor cannot terminate the trust. In this case, the trustee can terminate the trust, but only in the manner specified in the trust – for example, after all the assets have been distributed.

What if My House Is Not Paid for: Can I Put It in My Living Trust?

A living trust is an estate planning tool that acts as a holding area for property. A grantor -- the legal term for a person who creates a trust -- can add many types of assets to a trust, including a house with a mortgage, bank accounts and personal property. Property is placed in the trust for the benefit of the trust's beneficiaries, to whom the trust assets are distributed according to the terms of the trust. A trustee, who can also be the grantor, manages the trust and its property.

How to Create a Revocable Trust

A revocable living trust allows you to provide for the distribution of your property after your death. When you set up a trust, you help your heirs and family avoid the probate courts, which must review and authorize any will. “Revocable” means that you can change the trust at any time, or cancel it altogether. Creating a trust is a straightforward matter of preparing and signing a document, which contains certain provisions and conforms to the law.

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

Related articles

How to Delete a Trustee From a Trust in California

A trust is a legal device that allows someone to place assets under the control of a trustee for distribution to ...

How to Terminate an Irrevocable Trust

With a trust, you transfer assets to a legal entity set up to shelter your estate from the probate process. A trust ...

Transferring Property From a Living Trust to a Successor Trustee

A successor trustee is named in a living trust as the person who will take over the trustee’s duties and fulfill ...

Does a Living Trust Need to Be Registered in North Carolina?

Living trusts, also called revocable trusts, are popular estate planning tools because they avoid the costs and delays ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED