Ontario residents who have a trust may already know that they need to fund it. Without addressing this important step, the trust may not be worth the paper it is written on when the time comes. One of the reasons many people use trusts is to help simplify the estate administration process, but that will not happen if they do not contain any assets.
No one way to add assets to a trust exists. How a particular asset ends up in the trust depends on what it is. However, one consistency exists that no one with a trust can avoid — paperwork, which changes depending on the asset. For instance, what an Ontario resident needs in order to put a bank account into the trust differs from what is needed to put a piece of real estate into it.
While changing the name on a bank account may only involve closing accounts in the individual’s name and opening accounts in the trust’s name, transferring title to real estate requires more complex steps. Each piece of property requires a separate deed to be executed and properly handled in accordance with current law. The trust can be named as the beneficiary on life insurance policies and retirement accounts, which may only require filling out some paperwork.
Before any paperwork is filled out, it would help to know what assets would most benefit from being placed in the trust. During life, transferring assets may not provide any changes, especially if its creator is also the trustee. However, upon death, it becomes vital. The assets in the trust do not go through probate, which makes them available sooner to family members and simplifies the estate administration process as long as everything is done properly.