People often ask “what items do I put in my Revocable Living Trust?” Usually the biggest and most important item is your home. The process for putting your home into a Revocable Trust is fairly simple, but you must take care. The attorney will obtain the latest deed to your home if you don’t have one, then he or she will prepare a new deed that transfers the home from you as an individual to you as Trustee of your Revocable Living Trust. It does not matter if you are still paying a mortgage on your home, it can still be put into the Living Trust. Reverse mortgages can cause some issues, and it is very advisable that you contact an attorney before changing any titles to such property. If you have property outside of California, then an attorney in the other state will need to prepare a deed and have it recorded. Your estate planning attorney will explain all of the details to you.
A “PCOR”, or Preliminary Change of Ownership Report is also filled out and submitted with the deed to the County Recorder’s Office. This PCOR basically tells the County Recorder that the home is being transferred to a Revocable Trust, and that no reassessment is needed (so property taxes don’t go up!). This is also a very important step.
It is important to remember that one does not lose control of their property when they create a Revocable Living Trust (sometimes called an Inter Vivos Living Trust, or just Living Trust). Think of a Living Trust like a bucket that you built. You decide what to put in your bucket (with advice from an attorney), and what to take out of your bucket should you so choose. The IRS, as a matter of fact, views this bucket as an extension of you and doesn’t require a separate tax return. You just do your taxes as normal. If something happens to you, you can decide who is going to hold your bucket next. This person is called the Successor Trustee. Should you kick the bucket, you can decide what happens to what is left inside. Forgive the attempt at humor. We can’t take life too seriously!
Please feel free to give me a call today and we can review your situation and other Estate Planning goals. Everyone’s situation is different, and I can help create solutions.
See lots of estate planning information on my website at: www.myestate-plan.com
William Daniel Powell (Dan)
This document is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this is to be considered legal advice. Nothing in this shall create an attorney/client relationship, nor shall it create a confidential relationship. If you need legal advice (in California), feel free to contact me or someone licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. I assume no liability or responsibility for actions taken, or not taken, as a result of reading this information.
Also, please remember that I speak in generalities in my blog and my website. There are so many different factors that can contribute and completely change the outcome that it would be impractical to discuss all of them here.