You may find yourself in an unusual dilemma. Your loved one has passed away, and it is time to execute the will and administer the trust. You sit down with your local attorney or trust administrator who goes over the will, as well as the assets of the trust. The house is listed with a beneficiary deed, the bank account is actually in the name of the trust, it seems as though everything is covered. That’s when it dawns on you! My loved one purchased 100 shares of stock in Google back in 1999! Why isn’t it listed in the trust? Because the trust was drafted in 1998 and your loved one “never got the chance” to update their trust. An improperly funded Trust is only as good as the paper it is typed on. When a trust is made, all assets should be transferred from a person’s name into the name of trust. Example: Mary Smith changes the name on her bank account from “Mary Smith” to “The Smith Family Revocable Living Trust”, which would then replace her name personally on her checks. If those stocks weren’t transferred from your loved ones name into the name of the trust, or if the stocks didn’t list a clear beneficiary you will have to probate those assets.
If you have questions about updating your trust, creating a trust or administering your loved ones probate it is important that you consult with a Tucson probate attorney.