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Naples Estate Planning Lawyer

How to Fund a Trust

elderly lady thinking about adding trust fund in her estate plan

Funding your trust is a critical step in estate planning. It is the process of transferring the ownership of your assets to your trust. How to fund a trust with competency and ease is often best served with the help of a good trust lawyer. A trust is often a better vehicle than a will to ensure quick and private transfer of assets to beneficiaries.

How Do You Fund a Trust in Naples, Florida?

First off, if you have questions about how to fund a trust in Naples, you should reach out to James Nici, a qualified trust lawyer. He and his office serve clients throughout southwest Florida including Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island, and Sanibel.

The property mentioned in your trust document does not automatically fund the trust. Instead, for the trust to be effective, you must take action to transfer ownership of each asset to the trust. If assets are not properly transferred, will not be governed by the terms of the trust and instead, they will remain your personal property. The revocable trust, also known as a living trust, enables you to move assets into and out of the trust as well as control the trust terms while you are alive, so by transferring ownership to the trust, you are still “in control” of your personal property.

The trust funding process is not difficult, but it can be time-consuming. James Nici can help you understand your responsibilities for each type of asset. Below is a list of common types of assets and how they typically are transferred into a trust.

• Bank Accounts – Each banking institution has its own processes and paperwork, so your bank will provide instructions. Usually, you will have to provide them with a Certificate of Trust, which is a summary of the trust provisions.

• Real Estate – You must transfer the deed from your individual name to the trust. The deed must be executed according to Florida law.

After transferring the deed, you should notify your lender, homeowner’s insurance, and homeowner’s association (if applicable) of the change.

• Vehicles – You should obtain a new title from the Florida Department of Transportation that names the trust as the vehicle’s owner.

• Untitled Personal Property – Untitled personal property includes items such as furniture, jewelry, and collectibles. You should make an Assignment of Ownership that lists the property and designates the trust as the owner. You should keep this list of assignments of ownership with the trust document.

• Business Interests – You should retitle your shares of the business interest in the trust’s name. The business records may specify additional requirements when transferring shares to a trust.

• Securities – Examples of securities include stocks, bonds, and brokerage accounts. You should ask your broker how to retitle your brokerage account. You should get stock and bond certificates reissued with the trust as the owner.

Call A Naples Trust Lawyer

If you have questions about how to fund a trust, contact Nici Law Firm. James R. Nici is an experienced Naples trust lawyer with over 25 years of experience who can guide you through setting up a trust, ways to fund a trust, and all aspects of estate planning.  Contact our office today at (239) 449-6150 or message us using our web form.  Free consultations are available.

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