Today we're going to talk about transferring bank accounts into your revocable living trust. In the past, I've talked about what it means to fund a trust. Basically, it means changing the ownership of an asset from your personal name into the name of your revocable living trust.
To really benefit from your revocable living trust-centered estate plan and for it to be effective, a trust must be properly funded. We have had to probate estates for people that had a revocable living trust, but forgot to put their bank accounts into their trust. Believe me, it happens! The penalty for that is the cost to the estate is thousands of dollars to probate that one account that should have been titled in the name of their revocable living trust.
A bank account is an example of an asset that needs to be in your revocable trust, which is what we're talking about today, right? The revocable living trust becomes the owner of the asset, or the bank account, in this case. But since you are the trustee and the grantor of your trust, you still control the assets, like the bank account. It's just in the name of the trust.
When changing the title of a bank account, we usually just need to contact the bank and ask what form do they need for us to submit to them to change the name on the account. They almost always require the account holder, you, to appear in person at the bank. We try to get that form filled out ahead of time so that our clients save time once they are at the bank.
So what kind of form do you nee for your bank? I really wish a universal form existed that we could submit to every bank on behalf of every client, but every bank of course has, well, their own form. Along with their own form, banks usually require a certificate of trust proving that you indeed have a revocable living trust and you can actually do what you're trying to do, change the title of the account. Lately, however, we're seeing more and more banks require a complete copy of the trust just to change the title. Again, it depends on the bank. For banks, changing the title to an account is usually not a big deal.
Most clients are able to keep their same account number. That's really important. Just the title of the account changes. You still get to keep the account number. This is great because pre-printed checks can usually still be used until it's time to reorder, so it saves you a little bit of money if you're still using checks.
And if you have a debit card, you can usually still keep the same debit card until it expires, which, guys, is a really big plus, especially if you have several monthly payments auto-drafting off of that debit card. It can be a nightmare to have to go back and change everything. You must make sure your bank accounts are properly titled in the name of your trust.
If you go to an estate planning attorney, then spend the extra time and the money to get your trust properly funded. It doesn't do you any good to spend thousands of dollars to create an awesome, revocable living trust-centered estate plan that is not going to work as intended because it was not properly funded or maintained. I know I've thrown a lot at you, so that's why we have prepared our free estate planning guide to help you out. I'll put a link to it in the description below and again in the comment section. And to help you out even more, watch this video up here and this video up here. If you enjoyed this video, guys, then please smash that Subscribe button and click on the like button, the one like this, and click on that little bell so that you'll get notified every time we post a new video. Have a great day and an awesome week. And as always, thanks for watching!