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How to properly transfer assets into a trust

Many people make the strategic decision to transfer some of their assets into a living trust. They may have several reasons for doing this. The most common reasons typically relate to the desire to bypass taxes and to be able to transfer inheritance to their heirs without the need to go through probate.

It is very simple to set up a living trust. However, it can be a little more difficult to set up the transfer of assets. This is because there are multiple options and routes to transferring assets.

Transferring the title asset

If you are the title owner of a particular asset, then you will need to transfer the title of the asset. This means that you need to change the name of the owner from your name to the name of the trustee that you want to give inheritance to. Assets that you might want to transfer the title of might include a car, real estate or even a brokerage account.

There are many other items, such as jewelry, clothes or artwork that do not carry a legal title. In this case, you need to enact a transfer of rights of the property from you to the person that you wish to inherit the property.

Setting up a pour-over will

You can alternatively create a will that allows all of your requested assets to pour-over into the trust. However, this approach will mean that you won't be able to avoid probate.

If you are considering a living trust for strategic reasons, it is important to conduct thorough research before you finalize your decision.

Source: FindLaw, "How Do I Put Money and Other Assets in a Living Trust?," accessed Feb. 16, 2018

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