Trust is already set up, need to "fund" it by conveying real estate into the trust. What steps do we take?
You need to have someone draft up a proper deed (and related document(s)) transferring the real estate into the trust. I do not recommend trying to draft your own deed. It shouldn't cost more than $100-$300, and the attorney who drafted your trust will probably handle it for you, possibly as an included service with your estate plan, or for a small additional fee.
Elder Law Attorney
To transfer the real estate to the trust, you will need to have an attorney prepare a quit claim deed from you to the trustee of the trust (which I assume is you as well). The deed will need to be recorded.
This information is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal advice. I encourage those with questions to consult an attorney of their choice for guidance.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
I find it a bit odd that your trust attorney did not handle this for you as part of the trust plan, because it is the most vital part. You need a quit claim deed to place all real property into the name of the trust and record same at the county register of deeds. Pretty easy steps, but vital to the trust.
Generally, trusts hold more assets than just real estate. If your trust is intended to hold other assets, other steps have to be taken. If you have not done so already, you should review this with the person who drew the trust. Depending on the nature of the real property, there may be Medicaid implications if it is placed in the trust.
I am licensed to practice law in Michigan and Virginia and regularly handle cases of this sort. You should not rely on this answer. You should consult a lawyer so you can tell the lawyer the entire situation and get legal advice that is precisely tailored to your case.
I agree with all of my colleagues. You simply need to have your trust attorney prepare a deed to transfer title, along with the other documents necessary to accomplish this. If you did not use an attorney to set up your trust, then your steps are:
1) retain a trust attorney to review your trust and any other documents you signed to determine if they are valid and will accomplish what you wish to have done. It may be necessary for the attorney to restate, or at least amend your trust to correct any errors.
2) have the attorney prepare the deed.
Estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project, especially when a trust is involved. You do not know all that you do not know. Failure to take care of this properly could completely undo your planning and result in a failure to meet your objectives. The money you thought you were saving and a whole lot more money might be needed to fix any problems.
As Attorney Paquette indicated, deeds are no expensive.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.