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Which Assets Should I Put Into A Trust?

Generally, you want to put all of your assets into a trust, other than retirement plan assets such as a 401(k) or an IRA. You would be putting your house, your bank account, and your stock and bond accounts into the trust.

Can Putting Real Estate Into A Trust Cause Any Inconvenience?

It won’t. If you are talking about your personal residence, it won’t really cause any inconvenience, having it owned by a trust as opposed to you being on the deed outright. Sometimes, with rental real estate, before you can transfer it to the trust, you have to deal with your lender in order to get permission, and in many cases the lender doesn’t want to give permission, so that can involve some inconvenience in getting real estate subject to the trust.

Can Out Of State Property Cause Any Inconvenience In Being Subject To A Trust?

It is very important that out of state property is funded into and owned by your trust. For example, if I am in Missouri and I also own a vacation home in Florida, which hasn’t been put into the trust, then when I die, it has to go through probate, meaning my family has to go down to Florida and hire a lawyer there in order to handle the probate so that the real estate can be transferred to them as my beneficiaries.

Should I Put My Life Insurance Policy Into My Trust?

In almost all instances, we have our clients name their trust as the beneficiary of their life insurance. So at their death, all of their proceeds from life insurance go into the trust and are distributed to the beneficiaries in the manner that the trust provides.

Could My Trust Own My Vehicle?

This depends on the particular state in which a person lives. In some states, it’s very easy just to re-title an automobile in the name of the trust. In Missouri, the motor vehicle licensing agency is not so friendly when it comes to trusts. But what they will permit is to keep ownership of the car in your name but, on the title, name the trust as the beneficiary. In that way, upon your death, the people who are the beneficiaries of your trust can have the title transferred out of your name into the trust with just a copy of the death certificate.

What About My IRA or Other Taxable Plans?

As a general rule, monies that you have in your IRA, 401(k) or other retirement plans don’t go into your trust during your lifetime. The reason for that is in order to put the assets for your IRA or 401(k) into your trust, you first have to withdraw them from the IRA or 401(k) and pre-pay the income tax on those assets. So rather than pre-paying the income tax and losing further tax deferral, your attorney can coordinate the beneficiaries of those assets with the trust so that when you die, those assets will flow into your trust and be distributed according to the terms of your trust.

Are There Any Assets I Should Not Put Into My Trust?

The assets that you should not put into a trust include your IRA, your 401(k) or other employer-related retirement plans. Also, if you work for a company that gives you stock options or restricted stock, sometimes the company will not permit you to put that into a trust.

What About Property That Doesn’t Have Any Title?

If property doesn’t have any title, such as jewelry or machinery, it doesn’t matter if that property is in the trust or not because even though it has to go through probate, which technically it does, if it’s not in your trust, probate isn’t needed to transfer a title, so generally probate is just overlooked. On the other hand, if there is going to be a dispute among the beneficiaries as to who gets what, it’s better to have that non-titled property go into the trust, so there is a trustee in charge with authority to determine how it’s going to be divided up.

What Should I Do If I Acquire Assets After My Trust Has Been Established?

Once your trust is established, if you want to buy new assets, you just buy those assets in the name of the trust.

For more information on Assets In A Trust, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (314) 542-2210 today.

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The Attorneys at Estate Plan Strategies, LLC assist clients with Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Revocable Trusts, Asset Protection, Special Needs Planning, Charitable Giving, Probate and Estate Administration, and Business Services in the metropolitan St.Louis, Missouri area. Areas we serve include Clayton, Chesterfield, Ballwin, Creve Coeur, Richmond Heights, Maryland Heights, Florissant, Hazelwood, Affton, Ladue, Fenton, University City, Sunset Hills in St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County and Lincoln County.

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