Will Your Revocable Living Trust Avoid Probate? It Depends.
If you’ve set up a Revocable Living Trust, congratulations! You’re definitely on the right track. But…you’re only half way there. Many believe because they took the time to create a Trust, their estate will automatically avoid probate. Unfortunately, this is a false sense of security.
The key to probate avoidance is proper asset ownership, including the full funding of your Revocable Living Trust.
What are Probate Assets?
What assets require probate?
Accounts and real estate titled in your sole, individual name [without a payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) designation]
Accounts and real estate you own as a tenant in common
Contract assets naming your estate as beneficiary
What Assets Avoid Probate?
What assets automatically avoid probate after you die and, therefore, do not need to be funded (or cannot be funded) into your trust?
Accounts and real estate owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship
Accounts and real estate owned as tenants by the entirety
Retirement accounts, including IRAs, 401(k) s, and annuities
Life estate property
Payable on death (POD) and transfer on death (TOD) accounts and, in some states, transfer on death or beneficiary deeds
What’s the Next Step?
Ask a qualified estate planning attorney to confirm that your Revocable Living Trust is fully funded and that all assets are aligned with your estate planning. Proper asset ownership is key to probate avoidance.
If you are interested in ensuring that your family is cared for after you have passed away, please call our office at 415-625-0773 to schedule your free estate planning consultation with San Francisco’s premiere estate planning attorney, Matthew J. Tuller.