An estate plan can be a useful tool for the person who wants to protect assets and ensure a smoother transition. As part of an estate plan, many Florida residents elect to create a revocable living trust to house their assets. Unfortunately, after setting up the trust, some individuals forget to fund the vehicle, thus making trust administration difficult for the successor trustees.
It is relatively simple to create a trust, but if the titles of assets are not transferred into the trust's name, they remain unprotected. The transfer of deeds and titles can be time-consuming, but well worth the effort. Some financial accounts may be transferred simply by filling out the financial institution's requested forms.
Well before the time that the successor will take over, an individual may want to introduce the successor to the employees of the various institutions that hold the trust's assets. This way, in the event of the trustee's disability or death, the successor will already have established a relationship with the custodians of the financial accounts, and the successor will already be familiar with the assets they will be managing. The primary trustee should also ensure that any successors have copies of the trust and understand the duties.
A Florida resident can easily set up a trust to house assets, but the important step of transferring them into the trust should not be missed. Successor trustees will be better prepared for trust administration once it is fully funded and they have been briefed on the responsibilities. For more help with this estate planning tool, many turn to the guidance of an experienced attorney.
Source: Forbes, "7 Big Estate Planning Mistakes - Not Making Full Use Of A Living Trust", Bob Carlson, Feb. 28, 2018