Charleston Funding Trusts | Revocable Trusts | South Carolina Estate PlanningFunding trusts involves 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 can activate a revocable trust and enable the estate disposition without requiring the estate assets to go through the probate process. If a revocable living trust has not been funded, then the existence of a trust means very little and any assets included in the trust will still be required to go through probate. Our Charleston estate planning attorneys provide legal counsel to help individuals, families and businesses in funding trusts and to help our clients weigh the benefits of a establishing a trust.

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. First, funding a trust is essential to passing along any assets to certain beneficiaries immediately. 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 assets 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 be required 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 lawyers 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.