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Putting assets into a trust: how is it done?

As we have talked about many times before, establishing a trust is a great way to protect your assets and pass on your estate to your heirs and beneficiaries. There are a lot of steps you have to take to establish a trust, and you should be as well-informed on this topic before you try to implement a trust.

With that said, how do you take action on one of the key elements of a trust: putting money and assets into the trust?

It seems so simple, and yet there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. First of all, the type of asset that you are transferring to your trust matters a great deal. Is it a piece of property? Is it funds from a bank account or a retirement account? Is it a stake in a company?

Once you identify what assets you are transferring into the trust, you need to know the process for formally and legally transferring that ownership over to the trustee.

If the asset has a title (such as a car, a piece of real estate, and certain retirement accounts), then you have to change the name on the title to the trustee's. If the asset doesn't have a title (such as jewelry, intellectual property or a stake in a business), then you will have to give your rights to the asset to the trustee. And if you are passing on an asset that you were a beneficiary of (such as a pension plan), you'll have to change the name of the beneficiary so as to pass it on to your heir.  

Source: FindLaw, "How Do I Put Money and Other Assets in a Living Trust?," Accessed May 12, 2016

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