Budgeting Financial Planning Estate Planning What Assets Can Go Into a Revocable Living Trust? By Julie Garber Julie Garber Julie Garber is an estate planning and taxes expert with over 25 years of experience as a lawyer and trust officer. She is a vice president at BMO Harris Wealth management and a CFP. Julie has been quoted in The New York Times, the New York Post, Consumer Reports, Insurance News Net Magazine, and many other publications. learn about our editorial policies Updated on January 27, 2022 Reviewed by Michael J Boyle Reviewed by Michael J Boyle Michael Boyle is an experienced financial professional with more than 10 years working with financial planning, derivatives, equities, fixed income, project management, and analytics. learn about our financial review board Your estate plan isn't finished yet just because you've created a revocable living trust to plan for mental disability and to avoid probate at the time of your death. You have to "fund" your trust after it's set up. Funding requires a change of title to put assets into the trust's ownership. Without it, your trust is just an empty vessel that can't accomplish a thing. Funding a revocable trust isn't necessarily a once-and-done deal. You might want to transfer additional property into the trust as you acquire more assets, and you can do this. You can also remove assets and take them back into your ownership at any time. Some assets are more appropriate for funding into a trust than others. 01 of 10 Cash Accounts Rafe Swan / Getty Images Cash accounts include checking, savings, money markets, and CDs. These can all be funded into a revocable living trust, but be careful with CDs. Your bank might consider the retitling of a CD into a revocable living trust as an early withdrawal of the funds, incurring penalties. You'll have to wait until the CD matures before retitling it in this case. 02 of 10 Non-Retirement Investment and Brokerage Accounts leezsnow / Getty Images Non-retirement investment and brokerage accounts include assets held in an account in your name, as well as in joint names with others or as tenants in common. They do not include accounts held in qualified plans such as a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, or qualified annuities. A change of title will result in negative income tax consequences with these types of accounts. They require a change of beneficiary into the name of the trust rather than a change of title. They would remain outside your trust during your lifetime, then be paid to your trust at your death. 03 of 10 Non-qualified Annuities Westend61 / Getty Images Non-qualified annuities can be retitled into the name of your revocable living trust, and your trust can also be designated as the primary or secondary beneficiary of the annuity. You can handle this one either way. 04 of 10 Stocks and Bonds Held in Certificate Form Tetra Images / Getty Images The original certificate must be returned to the stock transfer agent in exchange for a new certificate if you're going to fund it into your trust. This requires obtaining a "Medallion Signature Guarantee" on the stock transfer form and mailing the original certificates via registered mail. You must insure the shares for 2% of their current fair market value. Consider depositing your certificates into a brokerage account that's titled in the name of your revocable living trust rather than go through all this. 05 of 10 Tangible Personal Property Westend61 / Getty Images Tangible personal property includes personal effects such as jewelry, clothing, books, personal papers, personal computers, and household goods such as furniture and furnishings, antiques, collectibles, or artwork. It can include motor vehicles, boats, airplanes, firearms, pets, horses, cattle, and tools. Consult with an attorney about the possibility of creating a pour-over will to have your executor transfer your vehicle and other tangible personal property into your trust at the time of your death. This would still require probate, but the probate process should be a much simpler affair if it involves just a few assets moving into your trust, and the alternative could be more of a headache. For example, a motor vehicle titled in an individual's name can't be transferred without probate in some states, so you could run into a problem here. Additionally, it could act as something of a red flag for litigation-hungry individuals should your vehicle be involved in an auto accident. Having your auto title in the name of a living trust signals untold wealth that could potentially be recovered should the other party file a lawsuit, even if that's far from the actual case. 06 of 10 Business Interests Hero Images / Getty Images Business interests include shares of stock in a closely held corporation, general and limited partnership interests, and membership interests in limited liability companies. Partnership ownership certificates must usually name your trust. As for closely-held corporations, you can generally just retitle the stock in your trust's name. Limited liability companies can require the consent of some or all of the other owners. Check any shareholders' agreements, partnership agreements, or operating agreements for restrictions on transfers, as well as for specific procedures that must be followed to retitle your shares or interests into the name of your revocable living trust. 07 of 10 Life Insurance courtneyk / Getty Images Changing the ownership of your life insurance policy to your revocable living trust gives your successor trustee the legal authority to deal with the policy, including borrowing against its cash value to pay for your care if you should become mentally incapacitated. Be careful in states that offer creditor protection for the cash value of life insurance because some states only offer protection for policies owned by "individual" residents of the state. The cash value would become unprotected because the trust isn't an individual. One alternative, in this case, would be to give power of attorney to your successor trustee instead so they can manage your life insurance if need be. 08 of 10 Monies Owed to You Krisana Antharith / EyeEm / Getty Images Monies owed include both secured and unsecured personal loans that you've made to others, such as a mortgage you hold on someone else's real estate. It's usually advisable to redraft any agreements to name the trust as the current lender. 09 of 10 Oil, Gas and Mineral Rights Cavan Images / Getty Images Retitling your interest in gas, oil, or mineral rights into your revocable living trust will generally require either an assignment or a new deed. It depends on the type of ownership interest that you have. 10 of 10 Real Estate Caroline Purser / Getty Images Transfers of real estate into a revocable living trust require recording a new deed in the name of the trust in the locality where the real estate is located. A mortgage or other loan against the property shouldn't cause a problem because mortgages "follow" the property. For example, federal law provides that if a beneficiary inherits a home with a mortgage against it, the lender cannot call the loan due fully and immediately just because the original account holder is no longer living. The beneficiary inherits the mortgage as well. Your trust would simply take over the mortgage payments if you transfer an encumbered property into it, but it's always advisable to check with your lender so you're sure of any additional steps you might have to take. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) How do I name a trust as my beneficiary? If you have established a trust, you can designate it as a beneficiary on your accounts in the same way you would name a person. For example, on your life insurance policy, you would list the trust as your beneficiary rather than a relative or friend. After your death, the payout from your life insurance would be automatically funded into the trust rather than going to a person. Do I need a will if I have a trust? Even if most of your assets are funded into a trust, you should still have a will. It will designate recipients for any assets not funded into the trust, establish the person with your medical and financial power of attorney, name guardians for any minor children, and otherwise express your wishes. If you don't have a will, assets, guardianship, and power of attorney may all be assigned by the state, and you won't have any say in who is chosen. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Schomer Law Group, APC. 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