Checklist for Existing Revocable Living Trusts
- Have all asset transfers into the trust been completed?
- grant deeds to transfer real estate into your trust?
- bank and credit union accounts titled in the name of the trust?
- securities accounts, stocks, bonds, limited partnerships titled in the name of the trust?
- tangible personal property (other than vehicles) transferred into the name of the trust?
- promissory notes and/or deeds of trust assigned to the trust?
- As new assets are acquired, are you taking title in the name of the trust?
- Have your business interests been assigned to the trust?
- Does your insurance on trust assets (real estate, personal property) reflect trust ownership?
- Does your trust include estate tax savings provisions if you and your spouse have a combined estate worth more than $3,500,000*? *2009 estate tax exemption amount
- Does your trust (and power of attorney, if effective upon incapacity) include provisions that allow incapacity to be determined by persons you know and trust instead of by the courts?
- Are your beneficiary designations on life insurance, annuities and pension plans (IRAs, Keoghs, 403(b) plans, 401(k) plans, etc.) consistent with your overall estate plan? Did you know that you can name the living trust as the contingent beneficiary (but not the owner)?
- Have you named someone who is still a minor (under 18) as an outright or contingent beneficiary when you would rather see that gift deferred until a later age?
- If you are married, have you placed your jointly owned assets in community property title to take full advantage of the income tax benefits in the event of one spouse's death?
- Has anything changed that might require an amendment to the trust? (Births, deaths, disabilities, marriages, divorces, inheritances or other changes in finances?)
- Is your chosen successor trustee still available and able and willing to serve?
- Do you have properly drawn and current Durable Powers of Attorney:
Have you given copies of such documents to those you named as your agent and alternate agents? (Or did you let them know where these documents are kept?)
- for asset management in the event of incapacity?
- for health care in the event you need (or don’t want) artificial life support?
- If you have a "living will"/Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care/Directive to Physicians, does your document automatically expire after a term of years? [The law changed in 1992 and you now can make out a new Advance Health Care Directive with no expiration date.]
- Do you have a "pourover will" that leaves everything to the trust just in case there's something that didn't get transferred to the trust during your lifetime? If you have minor children, does your will name guardians for those minor children? Are the guardians you've named still the best choice?
- If your trust was drawn up before 1982, has it been updated to accommodate tax law changes?