What does it mean to fund a trust?

A trust is one of the most beneficial documents you can add to an estate plan. It helps ensure that your loved ones are provided for upon your death, and it can minimize the probate process. However, simply drafting and signing a trust document does not complete the process of creating a trust.

Wills and trusts both address your wishes for after you're gone, but creating a trust is typically more complex than drafting a will. There are many different types of trusts -- including testamentary trusts and living trusts. This post will discuss how to fund your trusts because an empty trust is a useless trust.

In the legal language used in the field of wills and trusts, funding a trust means transferring ownership of your property to your trust. Sometimes, you can do this with a simple document containing a description of the property and the name of the beneficiary. This is ideal for personal items like family heirlooms. However, for more tangible property, you need to take additional action.

For real estate or automobiles, you must transfer the title of the property to your trust. To include investment accounts and other financial assets, you may need to speak with representatives from your financial institutions to find out what steps they require to transfer assets.

Finally, if you wish to include businesses or your rights to resources like minerals, oil and gas to your trust, you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. This is often necessary because these types of assets usually require specific actions on your part that you might not be equipped to accomplish alone.

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