Summary: The sum of your estate is much more than just your real estate, financial accounts and other large assets. It also includes many items without ownership titles or deeds that may hold great financial worth or sentimental value. Regardless of an item’s dollar value, if it is important to you, you will want to make sure that it is addressed in your estate plan. With a proper set of estate planning documents with complete instructions in them, both you and the person you’ve selected to manage your estate after your death can have the peace of mind of knowing that the things that mattered to you will go to the people you wanted to receive them.
This time of year is often called the “season of giving.” People seek to bring joy to loved ones by giving presents they love. One variety of such gift might be a new addition to a favorite collection of items, or perhaps a beautiful antique. As you consider your holiday gift-giving ideas this season, it is worth your while to remember that few gifts are more powerful than a gift left to a loved one in your estate. With that in mind, it is worthwhile to take time to make sure that your valuables are properly planned for in the event of your death.
Items of personal property can be easy to overlook sometimes while addressing estate planning, as one focuses on dealing with large items such as homes, vehicles and financial accounts. However, these smaller items often hold great value (whether monetary, sentimental or both,) so it is important to plan for them, especially to ensure that they pass to the person who will cherish them as much as you have.
If your estate plan includes a revocable living trust, planning for these assets works a little different than your large assets. Whereas you house, car or bank account can be funded into your trust by transferring their deeds/titles of ownership over to the name of your trust, funding items that do not have title documents (which can include the family silverware/china to jewelry to antiques) is accomplished using something called “Schedule A.” Schedule A is part of your trust where you list specific items that you are transferring into your trust.
Of course, the use of your Schedule A is not limited to antiques, collectibles or keepsakes. You can also use it to transfer many household items, such as furnishings or electronics (for example, a computer or furniture.) It is important to make sure that you update your Schedule A regularly to make sure that its list of contents is up-to-date and reflects everything without titles that you want to distribute through your trust.
Once you’ve fully filled out your Schedule A, the next step for planning for these assets works much the same as if you have a plan that uses a will as the main document for distributing your assets. You simply include a specific paragraph (or paragraphs) stating whom you want to receive each of these assets. As with Schedule A, it is important to make sure to review this part of your plan routinely to make certain that want is in your plan documents reflects what your current goals are.
Learn more about funding by visiting our Website and downloading our booklet on funding your trust here Revocable Living Trust
This article is published by the Legacy Assurance Plan and is intended for general informational purposes only. Some information may not apply to your situation. It does not, nor is it intended, to constitute legal advice. You should consult with an attorney regarding any specific questions about probate, living probate or other estate planning matters. Legacy Assurance Plan is an estate planning services-company and is not a lawyer or law firm and is not engaged in the practice of law. For more information about this and other estate planning matters visit our website