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How to Help Your Loved Ones (and Assets) Avoid Probate

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Today, many people are using a revocable living trust instead of a will or joint ownership as the foundation of their estate plan. When properly prepared, a living trust avoids the public, costly and time-consuming court processes of conservatorship or guardianship (due to incapacity) or probate (after death). Still, many people make a big mistake that sends their accounts and property, and loved ones right into the court system: They fail to fund their trust.

 We can help your loved ones and assets avoid probate.

What Does It Mean to Fund Your Trust?

Funding a trust is simply the process of transferring accounts and property from your name into your trust. In some cases, you may also want to change beneficiary designations to name your trust as a beneficiary. If you have any accounts or property with a beneficiary designation, we can walk through the best way to transfer these outside of the probate process.

Funding is accomplished in several different ways:

What Happens to Assets Left Out of Your Trust?

For many people, avoiding a conservatorship or guardianship during their lifetime and probate at their death are the main reasons they set up a revocable living trust. Unfortunately, you may believe that once you sign your trust agreement, you’re done. But if you fail to take the next step to change titles and beneficiary designations before becoming mentally incompetent or dying, your accounts and property—and your loved ones—will end up in probate court.

Which Assets Should, and Which Should Not Be Funded Into Your Trust?

In general, you should  consider funding the following assets into your trust:

On the other hand, you should probably not fund the following assets into your trust:

It’s important to work closely with us to determine what should go into your trust and what should stay outside of it. Also, before purchasing new assets, give us a call to find out how to title the account or deed or who to designate as the beneficiary.

What Are the Benefits of Funding Your Trust?

Funding your trust makes it possible to obtain the best results from your trust-based estate plan:

The Bottom Line on Trust Funding

Many people like the cost and time savings, as well as the added control over their money and property a living trust offers. Yet in the end, an unfunded trust isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. We are available, by phone or video conference if you prefer, to answer your questions about funding your trust, and we look forward to working with you and your advisors on all of your estate planning needs. Give us a call at 352-205-4455 today.

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Horror Stories From Probate

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8630 East County Road 466, Suite A
The Villages, FL 32162

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6035 SW 54th Street, Suite 200
Ocala, FL 34474

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547 West Fort Island Trail, Suite H
Crystal River, FL 34429

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