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When should I fund my living trust?

In very broad strokes, it is generally best to fund your trust sooner than later, depending on your reasons for creating the trust and balance between financial protection and freedoms of property that you hope to enjoy. However and whenever you choose to fund your trust, it is crucial that you understand the benefits and drawbacks of waiting or moving forward with funding.

If you choose to fund your trust now, or in the near future, you may enjoy stronger protections and greater peace of mind regarding your estate. However, placing property inside a trust is often an unwieldy process, and may require you to relinquish greater amounts of control than you care to. Furthermore, if a particular assets requires ongoing interaction, such as certain types of real estate, placing that property in a trust too soon may make it difficult to access it if you need to refinance the mortgage or otherwise alter some aspect of your relationship to the property.

You may choose to avoid funding a trust for as long as possible and simply create a pour-over will. In very general terms, a pour-over will simply takes any assets not specifically named to a beneficiary and "pours" them into a living trust once you pass away or become incapacitated. It is important to note, however, that this course of action does not generally protect your assets from probate, which is often the primary reason a person establishes a trust to begin with.

If you have concerns about funding your living trust, it is wise to carefully consider all your options. An experienced attorney can offer detailed legal guidance, explaining how each of your available estate planning options may best suit your needs and keep your wishes and priorities secure, both in the immediate future and for years to come.

Source: FindLaw, "How Do I Put Money and Other Assets in a Living Trust?," accessed March 09, 2018

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