Law Blog

Have You Properly Funded Your Revocable Trust in Florida?

Establishing a revocable trust, also known as a living trust, is one of the simplest and most reliable ways to pass assets to your heirs after your death without the assets having to go through probate. A revocable trust can be ideal to avoid a guardianship to manage assets for a minor child, or to provide for your spouse to have funds to spend during his or her lifetime but ultimately distribute your assets to your children or other loved ones at the death of your spouse.

Of course, a revocable trust can only be of benefit after you have funded it, in other words, after you have made it the legal owner or beneficiary of your assets. Funding a trust is not as simple as just signing a trust document and listing the assets that you want the trust to own; each type of asset comes with its own set of rules about transferring it to the trust. The procedure for funding a trust depends on the type of asset that you are trying to transfer to the trust; you might need to execute a deed, list the trust as a beneficiary to receive the asset after your death, or retitle the account so that the owner of the asset is the trustee of your trust.

A St. Petersburg trusts lawyer can help you ensure that you are transferring property to your revocable trust correctly.

Transferring Real Estate and Other Titled Property to a Trust

Transferring real estate to your trust is a delicate matter, and if not done properly can cause difficulty, expense, or a cloud on the title. You will need to execute and record a deed conveying the property to the trustee of the trust. This deed needs to be prepared by a person who is experienced and knowledgeable regarding such conveyances. It is easy to make costly mistakes, so you should work with a lawyer to avoid these mistakes.

Transferring Property That Does Not Have a Title in Florida

Some types of property do not come with titles, no matter how valuable they are. If you want to keep your furniture, jewelry, collectibles, artwork, tools, or other valuable items out of probate, you can transfer them to the trust with an assignment. Before taking this step, you will want to discuss the matter with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure the advisability of so doing, based on your circumstances. Some assets, such as retirement accounts, cannot be transferred. For these, you can list the trust as the beneficiary of the account at your death. Retirement accounts have very specific rules and consequences that come with different beneficiary designations, including tax implications and timelines by which the beneficiary must receive these assets. An estate planning attorney should advise you on the most appropriate beneficiary designations for these accounts.

Contact Kruse Law Group in St. Petersburg About Funding a Trust

A St. Petersburg trust lawyer can help you establish and fund a trust. Contact Kruse Law, P.A. in St. Petersburg, Florida to set up a consultation.