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July 25, 2023

Creating a trust is a popular proactive step in Florida in ensuring the proper management and distribution of your assets, both during your lifetime and after your passing. However, establishing a trust is only the first part of the process; the next crucial step is funding the trust,  the process of transferring ownership of your assets to the trust. The following outlines the necessary steps and considerations to take when funding your trust. 

Understand the Basics of Trust Funding:

To fund a trust means transferring assets from your personal ownership to the ownership of the trust. This transfer enables the trust to hold, manage, and distribute the assets according to your instructions. By funding your trust, you can avoid probate and maintain privacy while achieving your estate planning goals.

Identify the Types of Assets Eligible for Trust Funding:

In Florida, various types of assets can be transferred to a trust, including but not limited to:

  • Real Estate: Residential and commercial properties can be titled in the name of the trust.
  • Bank and Investment Accounts: Checking, savings, money market accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and brokerage accounts can be retitled to the trust.
  • Personal Property: Vehicles, jewelry, artwork, collectibles, and other valuable possessions can be transferred to the trust.
  • Business Interests: Ownership interests in businesses can be placed under the trust’s ownership.

Consult with an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney:

Funding a trust involves legal and financial complexities, so it is advisable to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. Our firm can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances, ensuring compliance with Florida law, and maximizing the benefits of trust funding.

Review and Amend Ownership Documents:

To transfer assets to the trust, you will need to review and amend ownership documents. For real estate, this typically involves executing a deed to transfer the property to the trust. For financial accounts, you may need to work with the respective institutions to change the ownership to the trust. 

Update Beneficiary Designations:

Certain assets, such as retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and annuities, have beneficiary designations. Ensure that these designations align with your overall estate plan and complement the funding of your trust. Coordinate with your estate planning attorney to review and update beneficiary designations as necessary.

Document and Organize:

Maintain thorough documentation of all trust funding transactions. Keep copies of deeds, account statements, and other relevant paperwork in a secure location. This documentation will be crucial for your trustee and beneficiaries to administer the trust efficiently.

Regularly Review and Update:

Life is dynamic, and so are your assets and intentions. Regularly review your trust and its funding to ensure it aligns with your changing circumstances. Major life events such as marriage, divorce, births, deaths, or significant financial changes may require adjustments to your trust.

Parkland Estate Planning Attorney | Broward Probate Attorney

Funding a trust in Florida is a vital aspect of estate planning that allows for efficient asset management and distribution. By understanding the steps involved, seeking professional guidance, and keeping your trust funding up to date, you can ensure that your wishes are respected, and your loved ones are provided for in the future. Contact our team today to speak with our experienced estate planning attorney for personalized advice tailored to your unique situation.  Start by calling us today at 954-999-9683!