How Does It Work to Fund a Trust in Michigan?

In order for a revocable living trust to accomplish its goals appropriately, the trust maker has to do more than create the document and sign the agreement. The settlor then needs to take an additional step after identifying the property that will be placed inside the trust to appropriately fund the assets into the trust.

This means that the property ownership must transfer from the individual trust grantor or creator over to the trust itself. How this occurs will specifically depend on the type of property involved.

Certain assets might require a transfer of ownership to the trust, whereas others might simply require designating the trust as beneficiary. Some titled property, for example, like a means you will need to get a new title that shows the living trust is the official owner of this asset. For untitled property, a dated and signed document known as an assignment of property will appropriately designate the trust as an owner.

For some certificates of deposit, a new CD needs to be opened in the trust’s name after the CD has matured. This will help to minimize the possibility of early withdrawal penalties. For bank accounts, you’ll need to contact the financial institutions directly because this may involve closing out an account and transferring the funds into a new account that is owned by the trust. For business interests, shares will need to be retitled into the name of the trust.

For HSAs, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and medical savings accounts you’ll need to update the beneficiary designation forms with each of those individual companies to reflect the trust as the owner. Securities will vary by brokerage type and the kind of security. These bonds and stock certificates might need to be reissued with the trust as the owner. For more clarification you can ask these questions of your estate planning lawyer in MI.


Gregory S. Schrot
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