Funding is the process of transferring assets into your Living Trust. Think of your Living Trust as an empty box waiting to receive assets. It offers no protection from probate until title to your property is actually in the name of your Living Trust. I will explain in the next few blogs the way to change title to assets you already own and how to take title to new assets you purchase in the future.
Title to new assets preferably should be taken in the name of your Living Trust as written in Article One of your Trust document.
The funding instructions that follow will help you determine the best methods for transferring different types of property into your Living Trust. The mechanics of getting particular pieces of property into your Trust vary from one asset to the next. As you deal with buying, selling and conveying your Living Trust assets, you may wish to accomplish many of the funding tasks yourself. However, it is important that your funding be accomplished in a precise and legally correct way. Therefore, I caution you to utilize the services of a competent estate planning professional any time you have questions or concerns about the transferring of an asset to or from your Living Trust.
To transfer real property to your Living Trust, you may use a simple quitclaim deed or a warranty deed. Prepare the deed so that it transfers title from the way it is now to the name of your Living Trust under the formal title designation found in Article One. Care must be taken that the legal property description is entered exactly as it is on the current deed. Signatures must then be notarized according to state law.
After the deed is signed and notarized it should be recorded with the County Recorder where the property is located. When you acquire a new piece of property, simple instruct your escrow officer to title the property in the name of your Living Trust as indicated in Article One of your Trust document.
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