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Using a revocable living trust

New York residents who use revocable living trusts should make sure that they're using this estate planning tool to its full potential. Not using a living trust properly can result in a poor investment of the legal fees paid to establish the trust.

One of the most frequently occurring mistakes people make with revocable living trusts is not funding the trust or neglecting to move the legal titles of assets to the trust. Simply having a written living trust agreement in one's possession is not sufficient. If the intended assets are not placed in the trust, those assets will not be able to avoid the probate process. They will also not be able to be held to the trust's provisions.

In order for a living trust to be effective, the legal titles of the assets must be transferred to the trust. This entails modifying real estate deeds and having them properly recorded in accordance with local law. If the asset is a motor vehicle, the title to the vehicle will have to be re-registered with the trust noted as the new owner.

To transfer most types of financial accounts into the possession of the trust, the completion of a form may be all that's necessary for the financial services firm. It may also be necessary to provide a copy of the full trust agreement or the certificate of trust.

Individuals may get estate planning assistance from an attorney who practices probate and estate administration law. The attorney can help a client decide which legal devices may be most appropriate for their estate plan strategy.

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