Did you cover your Assets?

By Cathy Sarmento in Blog. Tagged:

Did you cover your assets?  Since your home is one of the most expensive assets you should seriously consider a trust.

According to my trust attorney many people haven’t or if they did, they’ve done some things that have now left assets unprotected because they are held outside of their trust.  Here’s a brief excerpt from a recent article.  I would also like to refer you to him as I have been very please with 1 very unique difference in his trust set up than other attorneys.  Every December in addition to holiday greetings he asks if there have been any changes, you see his fee includes making those changes to your trust.  So often I hear of people that put off making changes because they didn’t want to incur additional fees.

Here’s his article:

Probate Avoidance. Under California law, if a person dies holding title to more than $150,000.00 of assets that do not vest upon your death, then those assets must be probated. The time and expense of probate is substantial and can be avoided through use of a Living Trust. If the value of your estate is significantly over $150,000.00, and you have not already executed a Living Trust, you should call us to discuss the merits of doing one.


If you have already executed a Living Trust, that by itself does nothing to avoid probate. The key to avoiding probate is properly funding the Living Trust. In other words:

–     All real property that you own must be deeded to the Trust and titled in the name of the Trust at the time of your death. If you have purchased property or refinanced property, please make sure that title of the property is in the name of the Trust.

–    All stocks, bonds, mutual funds, securities (other than those held in retirement accounts, 401(k)s or IRAs), savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and other investments must be titled in the name of the Trust. If you have opened up any new accounts since the execution of your documents, please make sure they are properly titled in the name of your Trust. We do not advise that your day-to-day checking account or vehicles be placed under the umbrella of your Trust.

–     For retirement accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s, 457, 403(b), Profit Sharing Plans, etc., we generally advise that the spouse (if any) be named as the primary beneficiary and the Living Trust named as the alternate or contingent beneficiary. If you are unmarried or consider the retirement account to be your separate property, the Trust should probably be named as the primary beneficiary. For an explanation of why we recommend this, go to our web page and click articles and then click the article “Designating a Trust as Beneficiary of Individual Retirement Account Benefits.”