The Complete Guide to Setting Up Your Living Trust Funds

Revocable Living Trust The Complete Guide to Setting Up Your Living Trust Funds

The Complete Guide to Setting Up Your Living Trust Funds

Before you set up your living trust, the three major elements you need to determine are:

  • Who will benefit from your trust 
  • Who will manage your trust
  • How to fund your trust

Funding your living trust simply entails selecting which properties and assets should go into the trust and how you can add them. 

The rest of this article will help you understand different asset classes and what you need to do to transfer them into your trust, legally. Once you’re ready, you can start setting up your living trust with !

Living Trusts in Your State

Want a more detailed guide about living trusts about your state? Find your state in the table below:

WisconsinArizonaNorth Carolina
South CarolinaMissouriTexas
OregonCaliforniaWashington State
New JerseyIdahoOhio
New YorkOklahomaMichigan

Living Trusts Explained

A living trust is an estate planning tool that allows for the seamless transfer of your assets to your loved ones after your demise. Generally, a living trust functions like a will but there are specific differences you should note. With a will you:

  • Have an estate plan that is only active at death
  • Need probate clearance before your beneficiaries can inherit your estate
  • Leave the transfer of property at the hands of the court

A living trust helps you manage your estate while you’re still alive. It also avoids probate because the trustee will be the one overseeing the trust, not the courts.

Types of Living Trusts

There are two major types of living trusts — revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts. When you fund and activate a revocable living trust, you reserve the power to make changes as you please and directly bear the responsibility of taxes. On the other hand, no changes can be made to an irrevocable trust once legally active. However, an irrevocable trust becomes its own entity and is issued its own tax ID. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both and select the type that best fits your needs.

Funding a Living Trust

One of the most technical aspects of setting up a trust is funding it. Some assets, by the nature of their acquisition, are easy to add to trust while others aren't. When done right, you benefit from:

  • Avoiding probate
  • Having a trustee over your asset
  • Having your assets go to your chosen beneficiaries

Assets you can add to a living trust

Types of assets for your living trustExamplesWhat do you need to do?
Assets with titlesYachts, motorcycles, private jets, exotic cars, etc.Change the title of the property and assign it under the trust.
Assets without titlesFurniture, jewelry, paintings, and other items.Prepare a legal document that assigns the asset(s) to the trust. 
Stocks and securitiesContact your broker to effect a title transfer of your stocks in the name of the trust
Bank accountsDepending on the bank, you may have to change the holder status of the account or close it altogether and transfer it to a trust account.
Certificate of Deposits (CoD)You will have to wait for the maturity date before transferring a CoD to a trust.
Corporate interestsCo-founder status or business partnership shares in liability companies and corporations. Contact other shareholders and request a transfer of share title to the trust. 
Real estateProperties, houses, complexes, etc.You can officially relinquish your claims through a special quitclaim deed.

If you have a pending mortgage, you will need to visit your bank or contact the homeowners association to know how such debts can be transferred. 

How to Set-Up a Living Trust

Here is a complete list of steps that must be taken to create a living trust:

  1. Choose what type of living trust you prefer — a joint living trust (which is ideal for couples) or an independent one
  2. Choose your beneficiaries as you please
  3. Register yourself as a grantor and select persons to become your trustee
  4. Select what assets to add to your living trust
  5. Fill out a trust form
  6. Legalize your completed living trust form at a state court and obtain a certificate of the trust

Create a Living Trust With DoNotPay

Ready to start your living trust process? DoNotPay can help you avoid exorbitant legal fees. Here’s how:

  1. Log-in to and select the Revocable Living Trust product
  2. Enter the state you live in
  3. Assign your beneficiaries
  4. Assign your trustee(s)
  5. Name the assets and properties that will go under the trust

Once you’re done, DoNotPay will have a revocable living trust ready for you! Just download and print the forms and get the living trust notarized.

DoNotPay Puts in Work

Estate planning isn’t all - the robot lawyer can help manage subscriptions and appeal parking tickets in just a few clicks! Here's what else DoNotPay can do:

Want your issue solved now?