By Marty Bodnar – To win football games, a team needs to score touchdowns, not kick field goals, when it reaches the “red zone.” Kicking field goals, not scoring touchdowns, between the 20-yard line and the end zone loses football games.
A living trust is used to avoid probate court. Avoiding probate saves money and time and allows an estate to be settled privately rather than through the public process of probate court. But, merely signing trust documents and doing nothing else only gets you to the “red zone.” To gain the benefits of avoiding probate, a trust must be funded. This is done by transferring assets to the trust and naming the trust the beneficiary of retirement accounts and life insurance policies. It is “funding” a trust that gets it out of the red zone and into the end zone. To score a touchdown with a trust, it must be funded.
Michael Jackson, for example, created a trust but did not fully fund it. As a result, members of his famous family fought in probate court – and in the media – before settling the estate. One should resolve to retitle assets in the trust’s name. Without this retitling, the trust is an empty shell and one will have wasted time and money setting it up in the first place. A football team must score touchdowns to win games. One must fund his or her trust to score a touchdown with a living trust.
If you are interested in learning more about scoring a touchdown with a living trust, please call Marty Bodnar at 734-665-4441 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.