How to Set Up a Living Trust

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For estate planning, setting up a living trust can be a great idea. Learn how to set up a living trust from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.

Part of the Video Series: Estate Planning
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Video Transcript

Setting up a living trust can be done one of several ways. I'm going to give you the best way then I'm going to tell you some other ways. The best way to do it of course is to go to a qualified lawyer who knows what the heck they're doing. Most lawyers frankly don't know what they're doing when it comes to living trusts. And most software programs don't know exactly what they're doing when it comes to living trusts. And most salesmen, yes these things are sold by salesmen, don't know what they're doing when they're doing a living trust either. But if you go to a qualified lawyer or you decide you want to set one up yourself. It's possible to do but the key to a living trust is more than just the trust document. It's making sure that the trust is funded. Now what I mean when I say a trust is funded is the trust needs to own your assets. It's not just a stack of papers. I have a trust. Great. I have a will. Great. The way a trust works is the trust owns your assets. You have to literally take your bank account and take it out of your name and put it in the name of your trust. You have to take your stocks and your bonds and your other securities, your other investments and put them in the name of your trust. In your name as trustee of your trust. It's real estate. It's going to take a deed. A deed from you individually to you as trustee of your trust. We don't put IRA's in. They have some tax issues. We typically don't put annuities in because they could have some tax issues. But everything else that you own should probably be in the name of the trust. If it's in the name of the trust and you're incapacitated, whoever you picked as trustee can manage those assets. When you pass away, if they're in the name of the trust we can avoid probate. You can give your assets to your loved ones with a minimum amount of legal fees, a minimum amount of delay and maximizing the privacy. Nobody knows what they got, how they got it, where it is or anything about you.

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