If you have a Revocable Living Trust make sure it is properly funded. Funding is the process of re-titling assets (changing ownership) to the name of your Trust or making your Revocable Living Trust the primary or secondary beneficiary of assets that require a beneficiary designation (e.g., retirement plans or insurance policies).
If your assets are not titled in the name of your Trust before you pass away, those assets will have to go through probate, which defeats one of the main purposes of having a Revocable Living Trust (avoiding probate).
Also, if you have a Revocable Living Trust as part of your incapacity/disability plan and the Trust is not properly funded, the trustee cannot manage or use the Trust for your benefit while you are incapacitated. Your loved ones will have to go through the court-imposed process called Guardianship or Conservatorship to appoint a guardian or conservator for you. This means that state law and not someone you choose will decide how you should be taken care of and how your assets should be managed and spent.
Many people have an Revocable Living Trust as part of their estate plan to avoid the cost and delay of probate, but fail to fund their Trust before they pass away. This results in a Trust that will not work and a huge waste of money.
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About Nicole K. White
After losing a close relative, Nicole witnessed the devastation, enormous expense and chaos caused by not having a simple estate plan. It is Nicole’s mission to educate parents, especially single parents, about protecting themselves, their families, minor children, and assets with comprehensive Estate Planning.