NOTE: This is part 1 of a two-part post on trusts.
“What does my trust say?” If you’re like most people, you were surprised by the stack of documents at your estate planning signing meeting. The estate planning process has a lot of information to take in during a few meetings. You will gradually become more comfortable with your specific plan and estate planning process, in general, but here is some general guidance as to what your revocable living trust provides to increase your comfort level.
Next, there will be language, creating your trust and assigning its name. There will be a long technical name, referring to trustees and successor trustees, and a short convenient name (i.e. “The James L. Smith Revocable Trust, dated June 3, 2010.” The date refers to the date the trust document was signed and is part of the name.
If you have a spouse and/or children, their names will be listed.
Part of the estate planning process is trust funding. Funding refers to the process through which the title of your assets is transferred from your name into the name of your trust. For example, a bank account was in the name of “James L. Smith.” It is then re-titled into “The James L. Smith Revocable Trust, dated June 3, 2010.”
Appointment of trustees
Your trust appoints trusted helpers, known as “trustees,” to take care of your trust assets at specific times. The trustee holds legal title to trust assets.
While you are alive and well, you will likely serve as trustee of your own trust. If you’re married or in a domestic partnership, you will likely name your spouse/partner as co-trustee.
You will also appoint trustees to serve should you become disabled and when you die.
If you have questions about what’s in your revocable living trust, please feel free to call our estate planning law office at (858) 792-5988. We’d be happy to assist you.