Your Living Trust is a Privacy Keeping, Probate and Guardianship Delay Avoiding, Attorney Fee Saving, and Keeping Courts out of your life technique; Don’t unintentionally get your family tangled up!
This article has one theme, FUND YOUR TRUST with as much of your property as possible. Just because you have a living trust, does not mean you automatically avoid probate or guardianship proceedings, you also have to fund your trust with your property. Remember, you planned your estate to protect your family, not only against taxes, but against involvement of courts when you become incapacitated or die. You also planned your estate to avoid paying legal fees to attorneys you do not know.
Recently, several of my estate planning clients have died or have become incapacitated and their children have come to me to assist them in handling property their parents did not fund into their trust. The term “fund” means placing the name of your trust on to property you show ownership by title, such as real property, a bank account, a financial account, etc.
Property you own not funded into your trust, when you become incapacitated or die, is subject to:
- Control of guardianship and/or probate Nevada courts,
- Family frustration from delays in the Nevada court system,
- The likelihood Nevada courts ordering attorneys you do not know to be paid (I call “unintentional inheriting”) legal fees reducing your children’s inheritance,
- Court and publication costs, and
- Loss of privacy and control.
A technique exist that may be available to avoid probate and guardianship courts we discussed while designing and signing of your estate plan. This technique, while effective requires certain factors to exist and costs additional legal fees and court costs you did not expect. The best way to avoid all of this mess is to fund your trust. Take the time to visit your bank, your financial advisor and provide to her/him your Certification of Trust.
Remember, you never will be billed to ask me questions about how to fund your trust, what a document in your estate plan does, how your trust will work during times of incapacity or death, or coordinating with your financial advisor. I what you to be confident your estate plan will speak for you when you cannot. Call me if you have questions.