Relying on joint ownership or a will alone might not be enough in your estate plan. This is why people are increasingly turning to the power of a revocable living trust. In addition to the time and cost savings, the added control over assets is a major benefit for most people who establish a living trust.

When a living trust has been properly prepared, funded and executed, it can avoid the costly, time consuming, and public court process of probate and challenges associated with incapacity.

This makes it important to provide for your spouse without disinheriting children from previous marriages, protecting inheritances for grandchildren and children from creditors, spouses, courts, divorce proceedings, and irresponsible spending and can also save on estate taxes. Funding the trust is a step that must be accomplished after you have already created the trust. It means formally transferring the assets from your individual ownership and therefore, part of your estate into the trust itself.

You must physically alter the titles of the assets from your individual or joint names to the name of the trust and most beneficiary designations for assets going inside the trust needs to be updated as well. The trustee that you name will be the one who is officially responsible for controlling the assets in your trust. One of the major reasons for creating and funding a living trust is to pull these assets from your individual control and estate. Now is the time that you should follow up your original estate planning conversation with your attorney and develop this into the stage of funding the trust.