When Is a Trust Involved in Probate?
In general, a trust will help your estate to avoid probate. However, there are certain scenarios when probate may be required. In this article, we will consider one circumstance when a trust may be involved in probate.
How a Trust Works
When you create a trust, you create an entity that is separate from yourself. Individuals are subject to probate, but entities are not. For your assets to avoid probate they need to be titled in the name of the trust. This gets assets out of your name into the entity’s name so they will avoid probate. You maintain complete control over assets as the trustee.
When Problems Arise
A trust is designed to avoid probate, but creating one is not a guarantee that it will not happen. As the trustee, it is your responsibility to ensure the ownership of your assets are transferred into your trust. This includes, but is not limited to, checking and savings accounts, rental properties, and non-qualified accounts. Failing to change the ownership of an asset into your trust could trigger the need for probate.
Handling Probate with a Trust
When probate is triggered, your successor trustee will need to utilize your pour-over will. This will is instructions to the court that lets them know your beneficiary is the trust. Your successor trustee will have to go through the probate process. To be appointed as the personal representative of your estate. Once that is done they will have the authority to access your forgotten assets and retitle them into the trust to be distributed.
Keeping your Estate from Being Involved in Probate
The key to keeping your estate from being involved in probate is to create and properly fund a trust. If you would like help getting started with this process, you can contact our office here.