For any individual who creates an estate plan, it is crucial to remember that estate planning is not a “set it and forget it” type of process. These plans must be regularly updated in order to reflect your changing circumstances. Without frequent modifications, your plan may not work as you intended. One example pertains to trust funding. If you do not continuously monitor your assets to ensure that your trust is properly funded, it may not work in the manner that you intended it to.
Five Assets to Consider for Trust Funding
The following are five examples of assets that should be considered as part of the trust funding process when modifying an estate plan:
- Retirement plans. Since most retirement accounts encourage you to name a beneficiary when you opened the account, you may forget that this asset should be considered as to whether it should be put into your trust. If you have minor children, have divorced, or recently lost a loved one who was a beneficiary, it is especially important to consider an update to your beneficiary designation.
- New real estate. If you have purchased real estate in Anaheim since the time that you first created your estate plan, it is important to consider whether you should update the deed to transfer the asset into a trust.
- Recently received inheritances. If a loved one passed away leaving you significant assets, you may need to update your estate plan to ensure that these assets are placed in your trust.
- New vehicles. There are advantages and disadvantages to funding trusts with motor vehicles. If you have purchased a new car since the time that you created your estate plan, consult with your attorney as to whether the title to the car should be updated in order to move the car into the trust.
- Lawsuit settlements. Similar to inheritances, a recent settlement of a lawsuit could leave you with substantial new assets. It is important to ensure that your estate planning is up to date so that the assets do not have to pass through probate after you pass.
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