Fund Your Trust. Fill Your Crust! Creating a trust is much like baking a pie. Whether you’ve bought a pre-made crust or made your own, there is still some prep in readying it for filling. “Creating” a trust is the same as preparing a crust – you’ve given shape and form to the trust, but it’s still empty. And no one wants an empty pie.
Fund Your Trust: So Now I Have a Trust (Or Crust). How Do I Fill It?
Just like filling a pie, how you fund your trust depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. You may want a cherry pie, but it serves you better to bake apple pie because that’s the circumstance of your fridge, and that’s what will best serve your family. So you might think you want a certain type of trust, but your individual circumstances could point you toward a living trust, a revocable trust, an irrevocable trust, a life insurance trust, or a special needs trust. I suggest talking with a trusted estate planning attorney to go over your situation and your wishes for your loved ones to see which plan serves you all best.
Before filling your pie, take an inventory of your pantry and spice rack. And by filling, I mean assets. Together with your estate planning attorney, carefully review all of your assets and determine which ones should go into your trust and which can or should be managed separately. This is a critical step as it will help you maximize tax savings on your estate, avoid probate, and have control over how your beneficiaries use their inheritance.
Fund Your Trust: What Type of Filling?
Remember that there are two types of fillings: The actual fruit and the gooey fruit-flavored filling. Tangible and intangible. Tangible assets are anything you can see, touch, pick up, and physically carry away. These include cars, boats, motorcycles, jewelry, antiques, and other collectibles. Intangible assets are a little trickier: you need a piece of paper to prove it is yours to give away – like your own patent, or recipe! Intangible assets include real estate, bank accounts, life insurance, investments, stocks, bonds, etc. and can be done by either re-titling the asset (such as with your checking account or the deed to your house) to your trust, or designating the trust as the beneficiary for other assets (such as with insurance policies and investment accounts).
Fund Your Trust: You Stick to Baking. We’ll Handle the Trusts.
Truthfully, many of us probably won’t be much help if you need baking advice for Thanksgiving. But, we can craft a tasteful Trust and help you fund it, which will give you that same sense of fullness without the calories!