Why do you need to fund your Oklahoma trust or lose it?

Have you ever heard someone talk about “funding a trust”?

Funding a trust means making a legal transfer of your property to the trust you create.

For example, if you own a home, you would usually sign and record a quit claim deed that transfer from your name individually to the name of your trust or in some places, the name of your trustee.  When a trust is properly funded it ends up owning your property, while you still control the trust (assuming it is revocable).  It might look like this:

 Joseph Q. Smith, an individual to Joseph Q. Smith, Trustee of the Joseph Q. Smith Living Trust, dated September 13, 2011.

Why do you need to fund your trust?
Because without funding the Trust doesn’t have anything in it, making it virtually valueless.  Also, if you are counting on the trust to help your family avoid probate, it won’t happen.  If someone passes away owning real property that is not transferred to a trust, your family is going to probate.

Now that you understand funding and the need to fund your trust, make sure you take care of it or talk to someone about taking care of it for you.

If you want to find out more about these topics please consider listening to my podcast series which is 8 brief episodes providing more detail on estate planning. You can subscribe to the podcast, Estate Planning Demystified, in iTunes or listen to it right here.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Cazes Roberts, PLLC in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with wife Amy and my two children, Sam (17) and David (9). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."