925.244.1185
San Ramon, CA

Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

What Assets Can Be Transferred Into a Trust?

You just got your living trust set up, and you are feeling relieved about the future for yourself and your loved ones. If you become disabled, your successor trustee can manage your financial matters. When you die, your estate will not have to go through probate court. But not so fast. Your trust is only a piece of paper until you transfer your assets into the ownership of the trust.

Some types of assets are appropriate for immediate funding of the trust, while it might be better to handle some others in a different manner. A California elder law attorney can talk to you about the best way to fund your trust in your unique situation and explain to you what assets can be transferred into a trust.

What You Need to Know About Certain Kinds of Assets

Each category of asset has different considerations, so we will discuss them separately.

  • Checking, savings, and money market accounts can get retitled into the name of the trust. You do this by contacting the financial institution and completing a change of account name form. The institution will provide the form you need to use.
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs) have different rules. Depending on the terms of the agreement that most people never read, the bank might have the right to impose penalties if you retitle a CD into the name of the living trust before the CD matures because some banks consider retitling the same as an early withdrawal.
  • If you have an annuity that is non-qualified, you can usually either change the title of the annuity to the name of your trust or make the annuity the primary or secondary beneficiary. Read the fine print before doing so.
  • There are some benefits to making your trust the owner of your life insurance policies, but there are downsides as well. Another option is to sign a power of attorney that authorizes your successor trustee to manage your life insurance policies as well as your other financial matters.
  • Many people transfer their real property, like their houses and rental property, into the name of their trust. You should check with your mortgage company to find out their requirements for changing the title of the property and having the trust assume the mortgage payments.

These are but a few examples of the types of assets that can go into a trust.

You Might Not Want to Transfer These Assets Into Your Trust

Not every kind of asset is a good candidate for retitling into the name of your living trust. For example:

  • Investment and brokerage accounts that are not retirement accounts can be tricky to retitle because of potential adverse tax consequences. A better option is to change the beneficiary rather than the owner of the account. That way, the investment or brokerage company will pay the account to your trust when you die.
  • You probably do not want to exchange your original stocks and bonds certificates for new certificates in the name of the trust because doing that requires you to jump through multiple hoops. Instead, you could place your certificates into a brokerage account that your trust owns.
  • When it comes to your car, jewelry, household goods, pets, and other personal goods, it is far simpler to list these items individually or by category in a “pour-over” will. This document is a simple will that merely exists to transfer those things into your trust upon your death.

A California elder law attorney can draft your living trust and assist you in retitling your assets to fund the trust. Get in touch with our office today.


Archived Posts

2021
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2016
2015



© 2021 Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning, Inc. | Disclaimer
2333 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Ste. 145, San Ramon, CA 94583
| Phone: (925) 244-1185

Elder Law | Estate Planning | About

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative