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Estate planning and funding a trust

Many people in Nevada create trusts as part of a comprehensive estate plan to leave their assets to beneficiaries. An important part of this process is putting assets into the trust.

A living trust is usually designed to help manage assets during a disability and help beneficiaries avoid probate. Funding a trust means putting asset such as stocks, bonds and real estate into the trust.

It is not necessary to fully fund a living trust at the time of its creation, but this is usually the best strategy. A trust must be funded with at least some assets for it to be considered a valid trust.

Trust grantors who wish to fund trusts after their creation can do so using a durable power of attorney. Another individual is granted control over the trust grantor's assets and is entrusted with the obligation of funding the trust. However, that person's authority to fund the trust ends upon the death of the person who granted them power of attorney. If the trust is not fully funded before that time, there is no way to avoid probate, which defeats a strong purpose for creating a trust in the first place.

An attorney with estate planning experience may be able to help individuals who have questions about wills and trusts. There are many different types of trusts, and it is important to understand how they work to avoid legal problems in the future. Different types of assets may need to be transferred into a trust in different ways.

An attorney may be able to help guide families through the process of asset transfers when a trust is set up. Many assets such as cars, homes and bank accounts can be retitled to a trust. An estate planning attorney may be able to offer guidance about how titles to each type of asset could be transferred to the trust.

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