A will and a trust are documents included in estate planning. Each serves their own purpose and provides a level of protection for the assets described within. The assets within the trust are still subject to taxation and other fees the same as if the assets were owned by the individual. A trust does not exempt the assets from taxes; it just exempts the assets from the probate process.
A revocable trust is funded when assets are assigned to the trust and become property of the trust. Any item to become part of the trust will usually have specific paper work necessary to legally make that transfer.
To transfer your real property to the living trust it will require you to deed the property from yourself as an individual to the trustee of the trust. The trustee will be the legal holder of the title to the property. A deed showing the transfer to the trust will have to be recorded in the county where the property is located. If the property has a mortgage, the lender will have to give their permission for the transfer, even if the transfer is to yourself as trustee.
The State of California no longer allows vehicle registration in the name of the trust, but a boat, recreational vehicle or all terrain vehicles can be transferred to the trust by drafting a new document of title naming the trustee as the title holder and owner. It is also necessary to complete the necessary paperwork to transfer bank accounts, stocks, bonds and brokerage accounts and savings bonds to the trust. Each will be placed in the name of the trust with each governing entity receiving a copy of the trust.
Personal property such as household goods, televisions or jewelry not governed by document title will be transferred to the trust upon inclusion on the trust schedule. No other paper work is necessary to transfer those assets.
One thing to keep in mind is most insurance companies will not insure recreational vehicle, boat, snowmobile or all terrain vehicles if the property is titled in the name of a trust. Before placing an asset in trust, check with your insurance company to be sure you are not losing insurance coverage.
For will and trust information and to determine what is best to suit your needs and desires, contact Marc Duxbury at County Law Center located in Carlsbad, California telephone 760-438-5291. Marc Duxbury is a recognized expert in estate planning.