In order for your trust to do what it was designed to do, you must transfer your assets into the trust. When transferring assets into your trust, the trust will now be the owner of those assets, and you will be trustee of the trust, thus allowing you to control your assets for as long as you are living.
Transferring Real Property to the Trust
Your home may be your largest asset, and you will want to make sure that it is held by your trust. This is accomplished with a Deed – a legal document used to transfer interest in real property.
Transferring Bank Accounts to the Trust
To transfer assets such as investments and bank accounts to your Trust, you will need to contact those institutions separately and fill out a form. You will most likely need to provide a copy of the Certificate of Trust.
Retirement accounts, such as an IRA or 401k should not be held by a trust, instead you can name the trust as beneficiary to these accounts.
Generally, life insurance policies are not held by trust accounts since these are not considered a taxable part of your estate. Instead, name your beneficiaries directly with your life insurance policy, or you may choose to name your trust as beneficiary. There may be exceptions to this depending on your circumstances, which you can discuss with your attorney.
Other Personal Property
You may have other valuables that do not necessarily have documentation, such as collectables, antiques, or items with sentimental value. You can place these items into trust by naming them in your Distribution of Trust Document.
Don’t forget to add assets that are obtained after the trust was set up into the trust. You should also have a will as part of your estate plan, this will dictate that any items not named be transferred to your trust upon your death. Having your assets transferred into your trust will ensure that your wishes are carried out when you pass.