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What Trusts and Empty Buckets Have in Common

When people have their estate plans created by other law firms, they almost always have a letter in their trust binder with instructions that say something like this:

“Now that you have created a trust as part of your estate plan, it is important that you take steps to transfer your assets into the trust. We call this process “funding.” Only by funding your trust will you avoid probate, which is the primary objective of having a living trust.”

The instructions go on to state that clients should retitle all of their assets, including real estate, time shares, securities, business interests, bank accounts, retirement assets, and life insurance policies. Further, if clients have questions, they are to refer to the memos included in their binder.

empty bucket

What law firms don’t tell their clients is that funding a trust and retitling assets can be as complicated as drafting the trust itself. Almost always, the red tape and complicated forms get in the way for even the most diligent, and the trust “bucket” remains unfunded, or empty. That means the client’s assets will end up in probate regardless of having created a Trust.

At Celaya Law, we do the work of transferring your assets for you wherever possible; and in the cases where you must be present to do the transfers, we’ll get on the phone with your account representatives (or even meet you at the financial institution if necessary) to ensure they have everything they need to make the transfer happen. We go the extra mile to ensure our clients’ estates avoid probate.

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