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FUNDING YOUR TRUST
Bank Accounts and CDs
Present your Certificate of Trust to your Bank or Credit Union, and transfer your accounts into the name of the Trust.
Leave the accounts/cds in your own name, but list the Trust as the beneficiary of the account proceeds. Ask your bank representative for a "Beneficiary Designation" form.
If you are married, you should list your spouse as the first beneficiary, and your Trust as the contingent (second) beneficiary. If you have adult children, you have the option of listing your children as the contingent beneficiaries, and then your Trust.
Deferred income accounts, i.e., 401k, 403b, IRAs, etc.
First, make sure you consult with your financial adviser who manages your accounts for their advice. Inform your financial adviser that you now have a Trust, and he/she will provide you advice on the best options available to you to make sure that the funds in these accounts are properly distributed after death.
As a general rule, you should NOT transfer these accounts into the name of the Trust, as that would create a taxable incident. Instead, usually, deferred income accounts should be in the name of whoever earned the money, with that person’s spouse named as beneficiary, and the Trust named as the secondary beneficiary. Like with bank accounts, if you have adult children, you have the option of listing your children as the contingent beneficiaries and then the Trust.
You should not title your motor vehicles in the name of the Trust due to liability reasons. Motor vehicles should be titled in the name of the principal driver and should not be titled in your joint names or in the name of the Trust.
Motor vehicles usually can be transferred through the Secretary of State after the death of the owner to the decedent's spouse, or through the use of an affidavit of heirs.
If you acquire real estate in the future, you may acquire it in the name of the Trust, or if you acquire real property in your individual names, you may contact my office to prepare the right deed for the situation to insure the real property is distributed appropriately after your death. There are several different options that we would go over at that time.
Life Insurance Policies
You may name your spouse as primary beneficiary and your Trust as secondary beneficiary, or if you have adult children, you have the option of listing your children as the contingent beneficiaries and then the Trust.
CLIENTS OF JACKSON, JACKSON & HAYES, are always welcome to contact the law office with follow up questions after your living trust and estate plan are finished to get advice on how to properly fund the trust.