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If you do not fund a trust during your lifetime, then probate gets involved.

A living trust can get confusing and mistakes can be made, if you don’t pay close attention, according to the Times Herald-Record in “Importance of funding a trust.”

A key to the living trust is that you need to transfer your assets into the trust. However, that can be difficult because you have to figure out what goes in the trust and what should stay out of it for various reasons.

Unfortunately, many people end up not funding their trusts at all and, when they become aware of a pour-over will that says any assets in their estate should be transferred to the trust after the owner of the assets passes away, they see no reason to do it now.

The biggest problem is that one of the main reasons to get a living trust is to avoid having your estate go through probate court after you pass away.

However, if you rely on the pour-over will to fund your trust, then the place your trust gets funded is in probate court.

It is the probate court that will have to direct assets to a trust. By not funding the trust on your own, you defeat one of the primary reasons that you got the trust in the first place.

Your estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that distributes your property in accordance with your wishes and may include a trust. Your attorney can also advise you on when to fund the trust and what assets should go into it.

Reference: Times Herald-Record (August 17, 2017) “Importance of funding a trust.”

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.