More Living Trust Facts

Trust facts

Trust facts

The states have different title loans rules and taxes affecting trusts, so see a lawyer if you move. Your trust document should specifically allow for a change of state so the laws that govern the trust can change, too. Otherwise, the laws (and taxes) of your former state apply unless you get a court order allowing a change.

There’s a lot of legwork involved in transferring property into a trust. Your lawyer will prepare the new deed for your real property, as well as transfer letters for assets held by your bank, broker, and other financial connections. But you will have to follow up.

Don’t make the trust the beneficiary of your 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account. If you died, that whole sum of money would go into the trust and be taxed right away. By contrast, a spouse or other individual beneficiary can roll the 401(k) into an IRA and take payments over many years. That spreads the taxes out.

You can name the trust beneficiary of your life insurance policy. The proceeds would then go into the trust to be distributed as you directed. Before doing this, however, married people should ensure that a surviving spouse will have plenty of ready cash in case there is a delay in getting the trust paid out.

Your trust should define what it means to be disabled, requiring a successor trustee to handle your affairs. For example, “I shall be deemed to be disabled when two physicians licensed to practice medicine in my state sign a paper stating that I am disabled and unable to handle my financial affairs.” The same language can be used to determine when your disability has passed.

To change the terms of a living trust, you prepare a written amendment. Don’t scratch in the changes on the trust document; they won’t be accepted. In some states, the amendment has to be signed and, maybe, witnessed just like a will. But in most states, a notarized signature will do.

A married couple should ask an experienced estate-planning lawyer (not a lawyer or insurance agent who is hard-selling trusts) whether they need one trust or two. In community property states, it is common to have a single trust document for all the property; each spouse’s separate property interests are segregated within the trust; at the death of the first spouse, the trust divides into multiple trusts include the title loans.

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