Yes, But Have You FUNDED Your Trust?

So, you’ve created your trust, established a pour over will, and named your trustees. After all that time, effort and cost, surely you’re all set, right? Not quite. Now it’s time to make sure your assets actually make it INTO your trust, so they can be protected. Below are some top items clients often forget to add or update for inclusion in their trust.

  1. Bank Accounts — Sometimes these can simply be renamed into the name of the trust, sometimes they have to be closed and reopened. It depends on your bank policies, so be sure to contact your banker for more information.
  2. Stock Plans — When changing the title on the stock certificate, be sure to make that change with a transfer agent to avoid a possible court process.
  3. IRAs and 401ks — Typically, you’ll need to set the trust as a beneficiary here, as they cannot be renamed into the name of the Trust. However, there are other strategies for how to proceed, depending on tax considerations and how readily your trustee will need to access funds. Contact your attorney to identify the best solution for you.
  4. Other Investment Accounts — The naming of these accounts will vary based on institution. In some cases they can be renamed, in other cases, you’ll set a beneficiary. Contact your financial advisor to confirm your options.
  5. Real Estate Properties — The easiest way to get these into the trust is as part of the initial purchase. However, for existing properties (or for a speedier sale process), these can simply be retitled for a small fee.

These are just a few of the areas to watch out for, but you’ll want to contact your advisory team to be sure you’ve accounted for all relevant assets.

As you start to think about all the assets you have, it can be overwhelming to figure out what needs to be renamed and updated, and how to do it. Not to worry! SLA offers a variety of services to assist with funding of trusts — from as-needed guidance to full funding facilitation — as part of our LifespanWorks℠ Program. Learn more about our estate planning services, including LifespanWorks℠ or contact us to schedule your initial consultation today.


Coordinating a lifetime of assets can be daunting. We can help!

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