How Do I Fund a Trust in Kansas?

Estate planning involves more than just creating a will; it often includes establishing trusts to protect your assets and fulfill your wishes. In Kansas, funding a trust is a crucial aspect of the estate planning process. At the Law Office of Andrew Rowe, P.A., we recognize the significance of this step and are here to guide you through the process.

Understanding the Purpose of Trusts in Kansas

Before delving into funding a trust, let’s first understand the purpose of trusts in Kansas. Trusts are powerful tools to manage and distribute assets, providing a structured way to pass down wealth to beneficiaries. Unlike a will, a trust allows for the efficient distribution of purchases outside the probate process, potentially saving time and reducing associated costs.

Identifying Assets for Funding

The initial step in funding a trust is identifying the assets you intend to include. These assets can range from real estate and financial accounts to personal property. Our client-centered approach ensures that we take the time to understand your unique situation, allowing us to provide tailored guidance on which assets should be included in your trust.

The Funding Process

The funding process for a trust, specifically a revocable living trust, is critical in ensuring your assets are managed according to your wishes. Let’s break down this process step-by-step to understand it better:

  1. Understanding the Concept of Trust Funding: Trust funding is the process of transferring ownership of your assets from your name to the name of your trust. This is a legal procedure that changes the title of the assets.
  2. Initial Consultation: The process typically starts with a consultation with a legal advisor or a trust lawyer. During this consultation, you will discuss your financial situation, your goals, and the nature of your assets. 
  3. Selecting Assets for Inclusion in the Trust: Not all assets are equally suitable for a trust. Common assets in trusts include real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal property like art or jewelry. The selection of assets is based on your specific needs, goals, and the nature of the assets themselves. For example, assets that you want to keep out of probate or wish to control after your death are ideal for a trust.
  4. Creating a Comprehensive Plan: The goal is to create a plan that aligns with your wishes. This plan will detail how the assets should be managed, both during your lifetime and after your death. It will also specify your wishes regarding the distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
  5. Legally Transferring Assets: This is the actual funding part. It involves legally changing the titles of the selected assets from your name to the trust’s name. This could mean changing the deed for a piece of real estate, altering securities registration, or changing the beneficiary designation on life insurance policies.
  6. Documenting the Transfers: Proper documentation is essential. This may include new deeds for real estate, updated bank account statements, and new vehicle titles. These documents prove that the trust legally owns the assets.
  7. Continuous Review and Adjustments: Trust funding is not a one-time event. As your life circumstances change, you might acquire new assets or decide to remove certain assets from the trust. Regular reviews and adjustments ensure the trust reflects your current wishes and circumstances.
  8. Safeguarding for Future Generations: This process aims to ensure your assets for future generations or according to your specified wishes. A well-funded trust ensures that your assets are managed and distributed without probate, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
  9. Legal and Financial Guidance: Throughout this process, it is advisable to work closely with legal and financial professionals like us who can provide guidance and ensure that all actions comply with relevant laws and regulations.

Managing Trust Assets

Once the trust is funded, our commitment to you continues. Managing trust assets is an ongoing process that requires periodic reviews, especially in the face of significant life changes. We aim to build a lasting relationship with our clients, offering guidance and support as circumstances evolve, ensuring that your trust accurately reflects your intentions.

Common Pitfalls in Funding Trusts

While funding a trust is vital, it has potential pitfalls. Common mistakes include overlooking certain assets, improperly transferring ownership, or failing to update the trust as circumstances change.

Contact Us for Trust Funding Assistance in Kansas

While we’re always on hand for urgent situations, such as last-minute decisions in critical moments, please be aware that the typical process from consultation to finalizing the paperwork usually spans a month. Call us at The Law Office of Andrew Rowe, P.A., today at 316-202-0131 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a dedicated estate planning lawyer serving clients in Kansas.