(612) 206-3701 info@lucerelegal.com

Looking to Avoid Probate? Make Sure That You Fund Your Trust

Categories: Trusts
You wouldn’t let your children get on their bicycles with only half a helmet; their protection is your number one goal. Yet many people make the mistake of leaving significant portions of their inheritable assets unshielded by the the trust they create. Even celebrities like Michael Jackson fall victim to estate planning lawyers that fail to do their utmost to see their assets (and, thus, their inheritors) protected. If you have worked with another law office to set up your trust, it is imperative that your take another look at how your trust is set up. Did your previous lawyer assist in establishing the trust and then walk away? Without their further instruction about transferring assets into the trust, it may now be no more than an empty shell—sturdy, but with nothing to protect. Worse yet, a totally unfunded trust fails completely, meaning all that planning is completely undone just when your family needs it most. For your children to receive what they deserve, you must do everything possible to avoid probate.

Transferring Assets into a Trust

Different types of assets must be addressed in varying ways and is often challenging to those unfamiliar with the process. To be certain of your assets’ security, the input of an experienced estate planning attorney is essential. Here’s a basic outline that should help you start a conversation with your attorney about how to avoid probate conflicts:

Real estate

A trip to your local county clerk’s office is required to file a new deed in the name of the trust and to see that it is properly recorded.

Stocks, bonds, mutual funds

Your broker, investment counselor, or transfer agent should be able to help you here. Fill out the documents they provide and run them by your attorney to make sure that the trust is properly identified as the beneficiary.

Savings bonds

The Federal Reserve Bank allows you to reissue and re-title the bonds in the name of your trust. See their form, here.

Brokerage accounts

You will need to close all existing accounts and provide for the transfer of their assets into a new trust account. Your broker should be able to provide the form you need.

Stock certificates

Your company’s transfer agent will need to receive a ‘stock power’ form in order to transfer the certificates into your trust. A copy of your W-9 with your tax ID number is typically required.

Bank accounts, CDs

All accounts must be re-established in the name of your trust. CD’s can be particularly difficult due to many banks’ requirements that any transfer occur after their maturity date. However, you will be able to mark them ‘in trust for’ a beneficiary and conduct the transfer once the CD has matured.

How we can help you avoid probate

Your children and other beneficiaries deserve to receive everything they are due—that means they must avoid probate conflicts. With the help of an experienced and conscientious estate planning attorney, you can plan for the financial security of yourself and your family. At our firm, we pride ourselves on our attention to our clients both before and after they’ve signed all of their documents. We stay engaged and conduct routine follow ups to ensure the maximum has been done to see your properly protected. You can learn more about how a trust might benefit you and your family by calling us to schedule a consultation, where we can identify the best strategies for you and your family. Call today at 612-206-3701 or reach out via our online contact form to make an appointment. Image courtesy of lekkyjustdoit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Contact us to see how we can help you with Trusts

You may also like . . .

Five Things that a Last Will Won’t Do

There are plenty of essential things that a last will and testament can do for you, like distribute family heirlooms and name a guardian for your minor children, but there are some equally important things that a will won’t do. For instance: 1.  Reduce estate...

I’ve Been Named the Trustee of a Trust…What Did I Agree To?

Many people who are asked by a family member of close friend to serve as the trustee of a trust are honored to be chosen and readily agree to take on the responsibility. If that describes your situation, it’s very likely you have no idea what you have just agreed to...

Why you might want a professional Trustee

When you create your Trust, you could choose anyone to be your trustee. It could be a relative or it could be a trusted friend. However, administering a trust can be a lot of work and time, and there are very specific rules that must be followed. The trustee has to...

The plain-English guide for Minnesota small business owners

When it comes to business, ignorance isn't bliss; ignorance is risk.

There's a handful of legal topics that business owners should be familiar with, at least on a rudimentary level, to reduce the risk of having something horrible come out of left field.

This book is a legal guide to help you put the most common business legal issues on your radar, with enough information for you to be on the alert for when you may need to get some professional advice.

The intention in arming you with this information is so that you can proceed in business confidently and with fewer legal quagmires.

Do you have a cabin?

The first generation that buys a cabin enjoys it to the fullest and it’s a magical place where happy memories are made and families go for some much needed respite. Unfortunately, without thoughtful planning, the chances of the cabin staying a place of happiness and tranquility into successive generations is very, very slim.

If you haven’t done the planning in advance and made it legally binding, the family members (and their ex-spouses and new spouses) will have to work every detail out for themselves. If they can’t, what is likely to happen is a lawsuit called an action for partition that forces everyone to sell their interest. This lawsuit is expensive, and the costs of litigation will come out of the proceeds of the sale of the cabin, so to add insult to injury to those who wanted to keep the cabin but couldn’t afford to buy the others out, they are footing part of the legal bills in the lawsuit against them. Ouch!

It’s no wonder that family members stop speaking for years after the cabin conflict is “resolved.” You can’t make family relationships perfect, but you can take away much of the fuel for the family conflict fire. That’s what cabin planning does, and it has the nice side effect of giving you peace of mind now.

That’s why Kimberly wrote The Minnesota Cabin Planning Guide and Workbook, and you can get a free electronic copy of her book on our cabin planning website, or you can find it in many county libraries in Minnesota, or you can get it on amazon.com.

Make An Appointment>

Join Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our newsletter list to get information and resources helpful to running your business and planning and managing your personal financial affairs delivered right to your inbox.

We don’t spam and won’t share your information with anyone, at anytime, ever.

Check out our podcast

The Small Business Buzz Podcast

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Please note that any information submitted in our web form is not subject to attorney client privilege and no attorney-client relationship will be created until a representation agreement has been executed.

13 + 14 =