Funding trusts

Minnesota residents can include a trust in their estate plan to ensure that their assets are handled according to their wishes after they die. However, it is important that they fund the trust.

Trusts can be used to hold real estate. A deed or deed in trusts can be prepared by an attorney who routinely handles trusts. The deed will transfer the title of the real estate into the trust, transferring ownership of the real estate from the individual to the trust. The real estate is funded into the trust once the transaction has been recorded.

Individuals can also seek assistance from an attorney to transfer personal property into a trust. This includes clothing, furniture, appliances, collectibles and more. Attorneys may draft an assignment, a bill of sale or a comparable document.

Assignments are most ideal for items that do not have some form of a title. They should not be used to transfer the ownership of vehicles, stock or other assets for which there are already document verifying ownership.

For individuals who want to place bank accounts into a trust, they should bring their affidavit of trust or certificate of trust and advise the bank they want the accounts to be transferred into the trust. The bank will issue new signature cards, and the trustee of the trust will have to sign them.

Trusts can also be used to house investment accounts, bonds, brokerage accounts and individual securities. The process for having these assets transferred into a trust is relatively simple and is generally conducted by an investment or broker advisor.

An attorney who provides estate planning services may assist clients with creating the appropriate type of trusts for their assets and goals. Assistance may be provided for drafting provisions that detail precisely how the trust assets should be managed.

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