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I have set up a meeting with a lawyer to help me create a will and trust, this is an initial consultation meeting. I have not even met the lawyer, let alone retained him. His office has sent over a questionnaire that asks for SSN, copies of a...
I agree it's not comfortable for people to provide this information in advance so I don't ask for it. If the client decides to move forward and have me create a revocable living trust-centered estate plan for him or her, I have a title company email me a copy of the current vesting deed for any real property so I can prepare a deed to transfer the property to the trust. In terms of financial accounts, I only need to know where the accounts are so I know which institution's paperwork to prepare to either re-title (non-retirement) accounts in the name of the trust or fill out beneficiary designations for life insurance and retirement accounts. I fill out all the information pertaining to the trust, but let the clients fill out the personal information such as social security numbers and account numbers, unless they prefer to have me fill this information for them as well.See question
Do I need to do it or can I designate a beneficiary?
You can change ownership of paper savings bonds from your name as an individual to your name as Trustee of your trust by going to treasurydirect.gov, filling out form PDF 1851, and mailing the form in with your bonds by registered mail. The instructions can be found on the page entitled "Reissuing Savings Bonds to a Trust."See question
I recently had a lawyer write a trust document for me. It's a "living" trust, and I'm sure the document is fine. The trust contains some bank accounts and some real estate which I hold with several other siblings. However, I've been reading in ...
It's very important to "fund" your living trust. An unfunded or partially funded living trust does not avoid probate. Essentially, you make ownership changes to change title on most of your assets from your name as an individual to your name as trustee of your living trust. For other assets, such as life insurance and retirement accounts, you will make beneficiary changes to properly distribute those assets upon your death (the beneficiary will not necessarily be your living trust, however - it's important to work with an attorney to coordinate these assets with your overall estate plan). To transfer assets to your trust, you must execute new documents of title, deeds to real property, or change of beneficiary forms for pension plans, individual retirement plans, and life insurance. In your particular situation, you mention you have bank accounts and real estate. You will need to execute a deed (or deeds) to transfer your real property interest(s) to your living trust and the deed(s) should be recorded at the Recorder's Office in the County where the property is located. Generally attorneys handle deeds as part of the estate planning process, but there are also online services that prepare deeds. I assume your bank accounts are not retirement accounts. If so, you can just take a copy of your trust to the bank and have the bank re-title the accounts in your name as trustee of your trust. If the bank is not local, you can ask the bank to send you change of title/ownership forms to re-title/re-register the accounts as trust accounts.See question
Who are not mine Or his brothers still living?
Typically trusts are drafted to leave assets to descendants "by representation" or "per stirpes" or similar language, which means your deceased husband's share would go to his descendants. Somewhat unlikely, but possible, is that the trust is drafted to leave her estate to her "surviving children" or to each of them by name, with a lapsed share going to the survivors, in which case it would go to your deceased husband's brothers and not your deceased husband's children.See question