One of the key elements when you utilize a revocable living trust as the centerpiece of your estate plan is the funding of your assets to that trust (funding involves the re-titling of your accounts from your name to the name of the trust). And lately, this is where many of our clients are coming up with questions and issues because of conversations with their bank (I am using “bank” as a generic term in reference to all financial institutions).
You see, many banks require certain paperwork to be completed in order to make your requested re-titling change (seems everybody wants questions answered on their own letterhead). And the forms they have created are trying to be a “one size fits all” solution. And that just does not work.
When that banker hears “trust”, she is falling back on the day or two of training from her legal department. But what she does not understand is there are many types of trusts, and there are different rules when dealing with these different types of trust.
It would be like me asking you to give me the rules for “sports”. Your response should be, “which sport?” Since each sport has a different set of rules – hockey, baseball, soccer, football… A form that tries to capture data for sports will either be overly burdensome or simply asking the wrong questions.
And that is the issue with the banks’ forms when it comes to trusts. Most of the time, it asks the wrong or inappropriate questions, confusing our clients.
Thankfully, MH’s clients have on-going support, so they can ask us for clarification and we can guide them through the bank’s forms, providing only the information required by law. And we do this for all of our clients at no additional cost!
Maybe one day, the banks will figure out what is actually required to re-title an account into our clients’ revocable living trust, but until that happens, we will be there, supporting our clients and giving them the clarity and direction they deserve.
Contributed by MH Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces Estate Planning Attorney James P. Plitz.
Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall? First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters. Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones. We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership. If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH. 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.