In this video blog, Petaluma trust attorney, Bridget Mackay discusses what typical assets should be placed in a trust and which typically are not.

Hi there, my name is Bridget Mackay. I’m an attorney in Petaluma. I practice in estate planning and elder law. And, I want to talk to you about what assets should go into your trust and which assets stay out.

So, if any of you have created a trust, then you know that in order for it to function it needs to have assets in it. And, a good example of that is your house. So, you would have changed the title, your grant deed, to your house to say Joe Blow a single man owning the house to Joe Blow to trustee of the Joe Blow trust. And, as soon as that deed is filed that means the house is now controlled by the trust.

So, what are some of the assets that go into a trust. Clearly a house or any other real or commercial property should go into a trust that you own. Bank accounts, CDs, investment accounts, money markets, bonds, any assets that have your name on them should be transferred to your trust.

The assets that generally don’t go into a trust, although on some occasions they do, are those assets in which you can name a beneficiary. So, IRAs, annuities, 401ks, deferred compensation accounts, 403(b)’s, life insurance policies. Those types of assets that have some kind of tax treatment that you’ve gotten through retirement and have your name on them can all have beneficiary designation. So, you would name a spouse, or you would name a child as your beneficiary on those. Those typically do not get retitled into a trust. However, a trust could be named as a beneficiary or a contingent beneficiary.

But, before you do that, you should always consult an attorney. An estate planning attorney, an experience estate planning tourney in this area to know which choice to make as far as naming those beneficiaries. So, if you have any questions get a hold of a good estate planning attorney and ask them.


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