We have talked about trusts quite a bit in the past, and one of the more common (and important) types of trusts is called the “living trust.” A trust is an arrangement between the grantor, a trustee and a beneficiary. The grantor gives wealth, assets and/or property to the trustee, who holds it on their behalf for a certain amount of time until the estate is ready to be executed. Then, the beneficiary may utilize the assets, wealth and/or property contained within the trust.
A living trust is exactly this, except that it is created during the grantor’s life, as opposed to being created upon his or her death. Setting up the living trust isn’t necessarily difficult, though you do need to follow procedure. Transferring assets, wealth and property to the living trust is a little more difficult. So how do you do it?
In some cases, you will have to transfer the title of the asset. So, for example, if you are transferring a 401(k) or real estate to your living trust, the title associated with those assets would be changed to reflect the trustee having “ownership” of it.
However, some assets don’t have titles. Furniture, jewelry and other intangible assets won’t have a title, so you have to transfer your rights to the property to the trustee. Each process is a little different, and you need to make sure it is being handled appropriately — no matter what asset you are transferring to your living trust. To ensure this, get in touch with an experienced estate planning attorney.