What Should You Put in a Living Trust?

A living trust is a type of estate planning tool that you can use in order to help your family avoid probate. There are many different types of property that you can put into a living trust. Here are a few different things that you should consider putting into a living trust. 

Real Estate

One of the most commonly held assets in a living trust is real estate. Any real estate that you own should be included into your living trust. Many people do not think about putting real estate into a living trust because they hold it jointly with a spouse. If you hold something jointly with your spouse, it is going to be transferred to them automatically when you die. However, if you and your spouse die at the same time, your property is then going to have to go through probate before it can pass on to any other beneficiaries. If you have children, you are going to want to put the real estate into the living trust so that it will be able to pass to them without any problems, should both you and your spouse die unexpectedly.


Something else that you might want to consider putting in a trust is a business interest that you own. If you are the sole owner of a business, or a partial owner of a business, you should put your part of the ownership into a living trust. Technically, you could skip this step and allow your business to go through probate. You could put this part of your estate into a will and successfully pass it on to one of your heirs. The only problem with this scenario is that anything that passes through probate becomes part of public records. When this happens, specific details about your business are going to be available for anyone to see. If you want to avoid this and protect your business, you should put it into a living trust.

Investment Accounts

If you are an investor, you might want to consider putting your investment accounts into a trust. You will not want to put standard make accounts or retirement accounts into this type of trust. However, regular investment accounts are good for living trusts. In fact, many state laws prohibit you from putting a retirement account into a trust anyway.

If you put an investment account into a trust, you will be able to specify exactly what happens to the money when you die. This way, you will be able to pass the money from an investment account on to one of your heirs and you can even determine when they are going to be paid. For example, if you do not want to leave a large sum of money to a young child right away, you can specify that they will be able to receive it once they reach a certain age.

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