Transferring and Managing Assets
The common trend today in estate planning is transferring your assets to a revocable trust while you are alive and to continue managing those assets while you are alive. Such a strategy allows you to control the assets, monitor the many changes that are going on in your life and in the life of your heirs, avoid probate administration, keep your financial affairs private, and allow your estate to pass more expeditiously to your heirs under your terms.
The most critical step in this process is to align your assets or “fund” the trust so that upon your passing the assets are in the trust ready for proper administration by your designated trustee. This allows the trustee to move quickly and without court intervention to manage your assets, pay your final bills, enter into necessary agreements, access your bank accounts or enter into an agreement to sell real estate.
Having a trust isn’t for the extremely wealthy anymore. It is a practical and easy “will substitute” that will simplify the administration of your estate. If you have a complicated life – own a business, own commercial and/or residential real estate, have a blended multi-generational family, are on health related disability, or have a child (whether a minor or an adult) that could potentially inherit money too soon in their lives – a trust is most likely the best way to proceed.