Living trusts are a common tool for the estate planner, used to facilitate a client's estate tax savings or to provide for potential incapacity and avoid probate. However, the purposes of both revocable and irrevocable living trusts cannot be accomplished unless all property that the trust was...
Living trusts are a common tool for the estate planner, used to facilitate a client's estate tax savings or to provide for potential incapacity and avoid probate. However, the purposes of both revocable and irrevocable living trusts cannot be accomplished unless all property that the trust was intended to hold is actually owned by the trustee. Many living trusts are totally or partially unfunded, which defeats the original purpose for creating the trust and leads to additional expense and delay during the lifetime or upon the death of the client. The Funding of Living Trusts is an expert guide to supervising and accomplishing the funding process, an important yet often overlooked aspect of creating a living trust.
This manual covers all aspects of funding a trust, providing a ready reference with expert advice on complex issues for seasoned practitioners as well as a practical resource to the basics for newer attorneys and staff members. Addressing the importance of trust funding in the overall estate plan for the client, Carla Neeley Freitag supplies a detailed overview of the funding process from initial client contact through completion and proposes effective roles for both the attorney and client in order to get the trust funding completed. This practical examination of the funding process and basic funding considerations explains the manner in which assets are titled in a trustee's name and details common funding errors and omissions to avoid.
The heart of the book is devoted to a detailed examination of common funding techniques for assets that are typically owned by trust clients and transferred to trusts, including real and personal tangible property, bank accounts, investment accounts, business interests, life insurance, annuities, and retirement plans. This in-depth guide also features a unique analysis of the developing case law and legal treatises on the necessity of retitling assets in the name of a trustee, information that will be increasingly valuable as individuals with unfunded trusts die and lawyers must advise beneficiaries of their rights with respect to unfunded assets.
The Funding of Living Trusts also includes many examples of sample forms used to fund a trust and shows how they should be filled out correctly, providing models that can be used by office assistants who frequently do the bulk of the paperwork in trust funding.