Avoiding probate by setting up a trust only works if it is funded.
Setting up a trust to bypass probate is often a good idea but it is important to make sure the trust is properly funded, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette in “Estate Planner: Importance of funding your trust.”
Funding the trust is important but it is also likely you will get a pour over will.
These are simple wills that dictate that any assets you had at the time of death that are not in the trust should be placed into it via probate.
While the exact rules vary from state to state, it does not take a lot of assets to require an estate to go through probate.
If all of your assets remain outside of your trust, then your executor has to probate your pour over will. By relying on the will you would have essentially defeated the purpose of getting the living trust in the first place.
An estate planning attorney can guide you on creating an estate plan that meets your needs as well as the best way to fund it.
Reference: Green Bay Press Gazette (Oct. 31, 2016) “Estate Planner: Importance of funding your trust.”