For some people in Georgia, the prospect of the estate planning process can seem daunting. However, they recognize the importance of completing the task and work to create the necessary documents. For many, this may include the creation of trusts. But once a trust is created, the work still is not complete; the creator of the trust, the settlor, must ensure that the trust is properly funded.
Many who create trusts do so to help their beneficiaries avoid the public and often lengthy and expensive probate process. Unfortunately, they may not retitle their assets into the fund after the creation of the trust. For example, a couple has a retirement account that lists their children as beneficiaries. Upon their death, the retirement account skips the trust, potentially creating financial complications for the children. If there is a supplemental needs trust involved for an adult child who receives government aid, for example, his or her benefits may be affected because the asset would go directly to the beneficiary, not to the trust.
Additionally, failing to retitle a home into a trust can cause additional complications. The house and any other assets not retitled into the trust will have to go through the probate process. Additionally, the trustee of the trust will not be able to manage the assets in the event of incapacitation unless additional actions are taken.
Many people in Georgia agonize over decisions when it comes to the distribution of their assets, including the creation of trusts. However, what may seem like insignificant oversights can ultimately derail a person's vision for his or her estate. Working with an experienced estate planning professional may be the best option for ensuring a person's wishes are met.
Source: poughkeepsiejournal.com, "Proper estate planning more than just documents", Bernard A. Krooks, Feb. 2, 2017