Law Office of Rick Todd Blog

Monday, May 8, 2017

Remember to Fund Your Trust!

As a client, your biggest issue with revocable living trusts is probably that you don’t fund your trust and your estate is administered through the will. As an attorney who primarily puts clients into wills rather than trusts, I see this as a good thing, but if you are a client who has paid an extraordinary amount of money for a revocable living trust, you probably would see it as a bad thing.

The reason trusts go unfunded is that clients balk at paying thousands of dollars extra to retitle the deeds to their homes and other assets. There’s a bit of irony there. Revocable trusts are meant to save you money by avoiding probate, but they end up costing you more money simply to be established! Even in wealthy places like Columbia and Ellicott City, clients don’t want to pay endless amounts of money for legal services. Nor should they have to.

If you have a revocable living trust and you have not retitled your estate, you don’t have to worry about your property not going to the right people when you die. Instead it will be administered through the will instead of the revocable trust. But it will also go through probate.

So if you have a revocable living trust and you haven’t retitled your assets, should you do it on your own? Absolutely NOT. Doing may very well get you into trouble, particularly if the property has a mortgage. Altering the deed incorrectly could cause the “due-on-sale” clause to activate and force a sale. Lenders do not want anyone but professionals altering deeds.

If you don’t want to pay attorney’s fees, the best step in order to fund your trust is to contact a title company and have them do it. They deal with daily real estate closings and are used to changing deeds. The price per asset is usually under 500 dollars.

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The Law Offices of Rick Todd has offices located in Columbia, Chevy Chase, Fairfax, Virginia, and Maryland and serves clients throughout Clarksville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Fulton, Rockville, Bethesda, Potomac, Laurel, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Washington D.C.

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