So your California living trust is executed and estate plan documents all in order, your assets are transferred and beneficiaries designated. You have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve made the smart decision to plan ahead. You think you can forget about it all now? Incorrect. Every asset you accumulate throughout your life, such as a new bank account, a new business or a piece of real estate should be put in the name of your trust. This is called funding your trust and it’s a imperative in order to allow for the simple administration of your trust and to keep your family from having to go to probate court, which can be an expensive and drawn out process.
Transferring an existing asset to the name of your trust is a one-time task, and should be followed up with a pour-over will and well drafted Assignment. However, our assets change and increase through the years, and a good backup to putting an asset in the title of your trust is to utilize the Schedule A sheet, which is located on the last page of your Trust. It is located there, after the notary certification, so that it can be updated regularly without a formal amendment. You can simply write in new account numbers, business interests or real estate addresses. Schedule “A”‘s are often used as evidence an individual intended for an asset to be an asset of his or her trust rather than a probate asset.
Updating the Schedule “A” is also just a good way to organize your assets for your Successor Trustee. Planning your trust well frees you up to live your life, but as your assets grow, taking a glance every so often at your Schedule A will help you keep your trust up to date.
This newsletter is not a substitute for legal advice and should not be considered advice for any particular situation. Please contact us if you have specific questions about your own assets or would like a review of your living trust.