Creating a living trust is not enough; you also have to fund the trust. Believe it or not forgetting to fund a trust is a common mistake in estate planning, but it is easy enough to do — provided you have funds or assets to put inside it.
There are two ways that you can fund your trust:
— You can have it done at the moment of your death via what is called a “pour-over” will
— You can do it while you are still alive by way of a title transfer.
As for pour-over wills, these can be used to transfer your assets into your trust after you have died. The pour-over will essentially moves any of your assets that have not been assigned to your heirs over to the trust — this includes money, benefits, property and other assets. One setback to using a pour-over will to fund your trust, however, is that your heirs will be required to go through the probate process.
The most common way for Florida residents to fund their living trusts depends on the nature of the assets they wish to transfer inside it. If, for example, you own the title to a particular asset, you will need to transfer the title over to the trust. Assets with titles typically include big ticket items like real estate, cars, stocks, bonds, real estate and non-401(k) and non-IRA brokerage accounts. Transferring the title is as simple as changing your name on the title to the name of the trustee of your living trust. The trustee will be named on the title in his or her capacity as trustee of the trust.
As for assets that do not have legal titles, like furniture, jewelry, clothes and certain kinds of intangible items, your rights to the property will need to be transferred over to that of the trustee. Other types of assets may also require special procedures to transfer them into your trust, but any Florida trust planning attorney will be able to help you with these issues.
Source: Findlaw, “How do I put money and other assets in a trust?,” accessed Aug. 27, 2015