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Please Don’t Forget… You’re Stuff Has To Go “In The Box!”

I recently heard about a wealthy gentleman who’d suddenly passed away. He’d made some great financial decisions during his lifetime, growing his estate to well over $7 million. He’d also set up a revocable trust to avoid probate (the difficult and expensive court case usually required to transfer someone’s estate to beneficiaries when they die). But he made one HUGE mistake. He forgot to fund his revocable trust, so his entire estate had to be probated. What’s funding? Let me explain by using a word picture. A revocable trust is like a box. When it’s created, it’s empty. There’s nothing it. It’ll only work if your assets are “in the box” or coordinated to go “in the box” at your death. That’s called “funding.” How do you fund a revocable trust? It depends on the asset. Real property should be deeded to the trust; tangible personal property should be assigned to the trust; and bank and retirement accounts, life insurance policies and annuities should name the trust as beneficiary. That’s how you put your assets “in the box,” and that’s how you avoid probate. You can have the best trust ever created, but if you don’t fund it, it’s useless! If you already have a revocable trust, please make sure your assets are “in the box.” If you’d like to create a revocable trust to help your family avoid the difficult probate process at your death, please contact me at (813) 244-7758 or Ross@RossSpanoLaw.com. Cheers, Ross Spano

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