The general rule is you do not want to have assets outside the trust that would exceed the probate threshold amount. Today that amount is $75,000 for personal property and $100,000 for real property.
Although there is nothing wrong with having your checking account in the name of your trust, some individuals like to have just their name on the face of the check. You can have your individual name on the check even if the account is in the trust, or you can simply choose to leave a small checking account outside of the trust.
Another asset that can be left outside the trust are vehicles. Once again you want to be aware of the value of all vehicles left outside the trust. If the combined value of all vehicles exceeds the $75,000 probate threshold amount then you need to get some of your vehicles transferred into your trust.
Other assets which are not generally owned by the trust are IRAs and pension plans. What’s important is to coordinate the appropriate beneficiary designation with your overall estate plan. This is a complex area of planning and must be based on each person’s individual family circumstances and size of estate.
Contributed by MH Arrowhead, Scottsdale and Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, David T. Eastman.
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At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years. Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects. We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.