Funding Your Revocable Trust in Connecticut
Sullivan & Griffith • Serving Families and Individuals in Guilford, New Haven and Madison, CT
Revocable (or "Living") Trusts are created for many reasons, including providing a vehicle through which your assets can be managed for your benefit if you become incapacitated, maintaining privacy with regard to your assets and estate plan, and reducing the role of the Probate Court in overseeing your estate after your death. Married couples often include provisions in their Revocable Trusts designed to reduce or eliminate estate taxes upon the death of the second of them to die.
If your estate plan seeks to minimize or eliminate estate taxes, it is very important that you review how your assets are titled, to be sure that your tax planning goals can be effectuated. For example, assets that are titled jointly with rights of survivorship will not only bypass any such tax planning, but will also circumvent any specific instructions you have made in a Will or a Trust to divide and distribute assets in a specific manner. Likewise, if avoiding probate is a goal, it will be important to fund your trust during your lifetime, so that the Probate Court will not be required to supervise the funding process upon your death.
Changing ownership of assets from an individual to a Trustee is referred to as trust funding. The process is the same whether you have named yourself as Trustee, or you have named someone else. The process of funding your trust is detail oriented and requires completing a variety of forms and account certifications required by the financial institutions holding your accounts. Because this is such a critical step in making estate plans effective, our firm has invested in dedicated funding software that keeps us updated on the current requirements of most major financial institutions, allowing us to help you complete the funding process efficiently and effectively. Please contact us if you would like to set up a meeting to make sure that your trust is funded correctly.