Welcome to the last month of the year. We have all worked so hard to get here! In preparation for end of year charitable donations and spring cleaning I have been working to reduce the number of clothes in my closet. So far it has felt very liberating to have less.
As my clients prepare for tax season I recommend that they take the time to update their schedule of trust assets (typically called the trust “Schedule A”). This is a good time to review the list of assets and make changes-often accounts have been closed or opened, sometimes real estate sold or purchased.
This schedule of trust assets is important for a number of reasons. If a trustee has not completed the process of retitling of the asset in the name of the trust (and the procedure to do so will vary with the asset), having the asset clearly described on the schedule can facilitate a transfer to the trust after death, avoiding a probate of the asset.
The Schedule A is also a good way to inform the successor trustee of what is out there-what needs to be collected and managed (not to mention valued). Unfortunately sometimes a person sets up a trust and at their passing the Schedule A has not been updated for some time-maybe since their trust was first drafted. This makes the successor trustee’s job of collecting-locating and taking title to- assets more difficult.
I offer all my estate planning clients a complimentary meeting with me every two years. This is a good time to discuss trust assets and an update of their Schedule A, if needed.
Call me if you need to discuss an update to your schedule of trust assets. And Happy Holidays everyone!