November 26, 2019

How Do I “Fund” My Trust?

Funding a Trust is like putting apples in a basket.

Once you have signed your Trust document, it will need to be funded with assets to be legally effective. The creation and subsequent funding of a Trust is something I like to compare to picking apples.

Just think of your Trust as a basket and your various assets as apples in an orchard. When you sign your Trust, you have created a distinct legal entity. However, your Trust doesn’t own anything yet. It is an empty basket. Accordingly, we need to pick up all of your apples and put them in your basket.

Transferring assets to a Trust, or putting apples in your basket, looks a little different depending on the type of asset:

-For real property, this involves re-titling through the use of a General Warranty Deed (a service we provide).

-For certain types of bank accounts or investment instruments, this may involve transferring the account into the name of the Trust or adding the Trust as a beneficiary.

For most assets (including bank accounts and investment instruments), the owner or account holder must make such arrangements. For this reason, we provide clients with a detailed list of instructions and offer guidance every step of the way. Before you know it, you’ll have all your apples in your basket!

*any assets you leave out of your Trust will be subject to the court-mandated probate process upon your death. Likewise, these assets would not enjoy the features or benefits of being under Trust ownership, nor would they be subject to the terms of the Trust agreement.


This article represents the opinion of the author and is intended for educational purposes. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. One should always consult with an experienced attorney before making estate planning decisions.

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