Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Importance of Funding Your Trust & Periodically Reviewing Your Estate Plan

You signed your estate planning documents and placed the original documents in a safe place. You're done with your estate plan, right? Not quite…you'll want to ensure that if you've created a trust as part of your estate plan, that your trust has been properly funded with the appropriate assets. You'll also want to periodically review your estate plan to make sure it still comports with your wishes and that it takes into consideration changes that may occur in your personal or financial situation.

Funding Your Trust

Your trust will control the distribution of those assets which are held in the name of the trust. Title to your assets must be properly transferred to your trust in order to avoid probate. If an asset is not transferred into the trust, a probate proceeding may be required. Transferring real estate to a trust involves preparing a deed and accompanying documents transferring title to the trust. Some assets, such as life insurance policies and retirement benefit accounts, are contractual in nature and controlled by beneficiary designations. Careful coordination of beneficiary designations is required to make sure these assets will be distributed as you intended.

Events Triggering the Need to Review Your Estate Plan

There are many changes in your personal or financial circumstances that could have an impact on your estate plan. A few examples include:

  • A change in your marital status (marriage, separation, or divorce)
  • Death or incapacity of a fiduciary or beneficiary named in your documents
  • A change in your health condition
  • Retirement or job loss
  • Receiving a substantial inheritance

San Diego Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration
Thank you for reading our blog. If you have any questions regarding estate planning, or need assistance with the administration of a trust or estate, contact the Casiano Law Firm for experienced advice and representation.