Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.
216-245-0504

Tips for funding a trust

People in Ohio who create a trust as part of an estate plan should make sure that they also fund the trust. Without placing assets in the trust, the trust document itself is like an empty container.

Different assets are placed in a trust in different ways. For example, a deed or deed in trust must be prepared for real estate. The name on the title is then changed to indicate that the property belongs to the trust. Once a piece of real estate is placed in a trust, a person may want to contact the county auditor's office to find out whether real estate tax exemptions must be refiled and possibly the insurance agent.

For goods that do not have some kind of title indicating ownership, an attorney may be able to assist a person in making the transfer to the trust. This might include items such as collectibles, furniture and clothes. There are several ways to go about this including creating a bill of sale.

Bank accounts can be placed in the trust by taking the affidavit or certificate of trust to the bank. For various types of investments, a person's investment advisor or broker may be able to assist. A pour-over will can place any other assets in the trust at a person's death although this will still have to pass through probate.

People who are creating an estate plan may want to talk to an attorney about how a trust might fit into the overall estate plan. While a simple will may be the best choice in some cases, trusts are flexible documents that can offer a variety of benefits such as protecting assets from creditors, managing how distributions are made to beneficiaries, keeping assets safe for minor children or donating to charity. They also offer greater privacy than a will.

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Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.
Executive Commons West
29425 Chagrin Blvd.
Suite 305
Cleveland, OH 44122

Toll Free: 888-335-6650
Phone: 216-245-0504
Fax: 216-765-8817
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