Charleston Funding Trusts | Revocable Trusts | South Carolina Estate PlanningFunding trusts describes the process of transferring assets or property from personal ownership to the ownership of a trust. Funding a trust in other words would involve changing the name of your assets from simply “John Smith” to “John Smith Trustee of the John Smith Trust.” While this estate planning technique may seem entirely unimportant, there are many advantages to taking this legal action. Most notably, funding a trust will activate a revocable trust and enable estate disposition without the probate process. If a trust has not been funded, then the existence of a revocable trust means very little and any assets included in the trust will still have to go through probate. Our Charleston estate planning attorneys provide legal counsel to help individuals, families and business in funding trusts and to help our clients weigh the benefits of a establishing a revocable trust with avoiding probate.

The Alternative to Funding Trusts

If an individual establishes a trust and places several assets in this trust, then they may be able to pass onto loved ones without involvement of the South  Carolina Probate Court. Failure to fund a trust promptly however can create numerous complications for the grantor and trustee alike. Firstly, funding a trust is essential to validly passing along any assets. If a grantor becomes incapacitated, this regulation becomes further complicated since a trustee cannot fund a will for which they would receive assets. This means that if an individual fell into a coma or experienced some other form of incapacity, then his/her loved ones may be unable to manage trust matter on his/her behalf.  Even worse, if these assets are assumed to pass onto loved ones through a revocable trust rather than a Last Will & Testament and then the revocable trust happens to be unfunded, these assets will have to go through probate and may not necessarily honor the wishes or intent of the grantor.

It is thus crucial for this reason to fund trusts as early as possible. Our Charleston estate planning attorneys can even help clients fund trusts immediately after signing them into effect. It is important to remember however that alterations to the revocable trust may require revisions to the previous funding of the trust. Our estate planning law firm provides guidance to clients throughout the process of funding trusts to ensure the protection of their interests and the interests of their loved ones.