From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Funding Revocable Trusts with Houses
Most Recently Updated July 19, 2018.
“I had a Revocable Living Trust created several years ago, but I have not put anything into it. I own my Philadelphia home, a few bank accounts and investment accounts. My daughter lives in California, but I want everything to pass to her at my death. I want the transfer to be easy. Should I move my house from my name into the Revocable Trust?”
Funding Revocable Trusts with Houses
The goal you have stated in forming your Revocable Living Trust was to make things easier on your daughter who lives in California. Though your intentions are good, without moving the house into the trust you really have done nothing to help her.
The Basic Idea of a Revocable Trust
The basic idea surrounding a Revocable Living Trust is that during your lifetime you either move your assets into the trust or you set things up so that at your death, they pour into the trust. For example, your bank and investment accounts could be made TOD (transfer on death) into the Revocable Trust. This way, at your death, your daughter can take over as successor trustee and collect the assets using only your death certificate. There is no need to file your Will. Those accounts pour into the trust automatically by contract at your death.
Real Estate Must Be Moved During Your Lifetime
There is no way, though, to do this with your real estate. Real estate must be moved into the Revocable Living Trust during your lifetime for the system to work. If you do not, your daughter will be forced to file your Will. Instead, you can have us file a Quit Claim Deed moving your house from your name into the Revocable Trust. This way, at your death, your daughter will become the successor trustee and can immediately place the house up for sale. There is no need to file the Will.
With these last few steps, your Revocable Living Trust will become a useful tool.
More Planning Questions?
Funding a revocable trust is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.
In Conclusion: Funding Revocable Trusts with Houses
I hope that this article was helpful in explaining funding a revocable trust. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!
Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers. By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!
Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!