How Should You Move Personal Property into a Living Trust?

Creating an estate plan that includes a living trust is an excellent way to ensure that your property passes in the manner that you see fit, while hopefully saving your loved ones the trouble of having to involve the oversight of the probate court.

In order to take advantage of the many benefits of your living trust, however, you must properly fund the trust during your lifetime. Funding the trust is a phrase used to describe the process for moving your assets into the trust. For some assets, this process is fairly obvious. For example, real estate is moved into a trust by recording a new deed. For tangible personal property, the process is somewhat different. The following is a helpful overview about personal property and living trusts in Orange County.

What are some examples of tangible personal property? Personal property includes items such as:

  • Jewelry
  • Furniture
  • Books
  • China
  • Art work
  • Clothing
  • Automobiles

How are these assets moved into a living trust?

  • Cars, boats, and airplanes are typically moved into a trust in the same manner as if they were being transferred to another individual. These assets have documentation for title that can be updated to reflect the trust. 
  • Other types of personal property can be moved into the trust by having your attorney prepare documentation that states the assets are now held in trust. This document can address after-acquired property, as well. It can also state that you retain the right to possess the assets while you are alive and well.

Before attempting to move any asset into your trust, it is important to consult with a legal professional for guidance. Certain transfers may trigger tax or other consequences that should be carefully considered.

For more information about how assets are held in trust, view our free guide, Understanding the Revocable Living Trust - In Language that Anyone Can Understand in 8 Minutes. Contact an experienced Orange County estate planning lawyer today for a consultation.

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James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm