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Is New Real Estate Purchased Automatically Added to My Existing Trust?

  • By: Christopher Benson
  • Published: February 18, 2014

Real Estate included in trust?: Created trust in CA. Moved to WA. Trust has pour over will. Title to property in WA in our names but not in name of Trust. Is WA property included in trust by virtue of pour over will?

Christopher’s answer: First thing: A trust owns assets that you transfer into the trust. While you are alive, title to assets do not automatically get moved into your trust unless you take steps to do so such as deeding real estate into the trust, transferring bank accounts, title to vehicles etc.
So, it does not necessarily matter where you created the trust. What matters is what assets you have actually transferred into the trust while you are alive.If you created a valid revocable trust in California and you transferred title of assets into your trust at that time such as bank accounts, car titles and/or real estate, then you probably have a valid revocable trust created. If you did not fund the trust in California, then it is true that you may not have a valid trust at all. You should meet with an experienced estate planning attorney to find out what you have before you take any action.

If you have a valid trust and then subsequently acquire real estate in any state, and you want your trust to own that asset, then you have to deed title of that asset into the name of your trust. If the asset is not title in the name of the trust at the time of your death, then through the probate process, title would be “poured over” into your trust. However, your estate would have to incur the time and expense to actually open a probate in each state where the real estate is located.

The simple (and less expensive) option is to simply take care of it while you are alive. Meet with me and get it taken care of. It’s fast and easy to do.

Christopher Benson

About the Author Chris served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity
Seattle/S. King County for 10 years and served as Vice President
of the organization during part of that time. Read More