Funding Your Living Trust

A living trust can be a valuable part of your estate plan – but only if you properly transfer your assets into it. There are various ways to accomplish this, depending on the type of asset.

  • Your Home. You (or you and your spouse, if you’re married) can use a deed to transfer your home into the trust. The deed is then taken to the Washtenaw County Register of Deeds for recording as a public record.
  • Contents of Your Home. Through an attachment to your living trust, you can place in your trust the contents of your home, whether there now or acquired later.
  • Brokerage Accounts. Your broker will have a form you can sign to transfer your accounts to your trust.
  • Individual Securities. Typically, you’ll need to work through the transfer agent named on the stock certificate. You usually have a choice: You can put securities in the name of your trust, or you can add a Transfer on Death (TOD) designation. With a TOD designation, the securities will be transferred to the trust when you (or you and your spouse) have died.
  • Bank Accounts. You can put bank accounts in the name of your trust, or you can sign a Pay on Death (POD) designation similar to the TOD designation used for securities.

The attorneys at the Ann Arbor firm of Hamilton, London, & Davis can draft a living trust for you, and can also help you transfer assets into your trust.