Should you transfer your checking account into the name of your living trust?
Should your living trust own your checking account?
Attorney Tom Olsen: Gerry, you're on News 96.5. Go ahead.
Gerry: Hey, Tom. Appreciate the service you provide.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Sure.
Gerry: I have a question about transferring checking account to a trust. I've got a trust set up for my only child. My wife predeceased me and wanted to make sure that my executor has immediate access to the checking account rather than it having to go through a process so that they are able to write checks immediately upon my death as needed.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Let me ask you, is your daughter going to receive everything when you pass away?
Gerry: It goes to a special needs trust.
Attorney Tom Olsen: She's not going to be your successor trustee then. Gerry, if you want to get the full benefit of your living trust, then all of your bank accounts, checkings, savings, CDs, money market, investment, non-IRA accounts should be on the name of your trust. Your trust states that as long as you're alive, you're the trustee, but upon your death, somebody becomes successor trustee. Let's make up a name, say Mary.
When you pass away, as soon as Mary gets your death certificate - that might be 7 to 10 days - Mary will go down to the bank and say, "Here's Gerry's trust. It states upon his death I become trustee. Here's a copy of Gerry's death certificate. Now I'm in charge, now I have access to this bank account." It's not going to be immediate, Gerry, but it will be within seven days or so.
Gerry: All right, so I don't need to name the checking account in the name of the trust in advance? Just make sure that it's--
Attorney Tom Olsen: No, you do. Well, you literally go down to the bank and tell them to take this checking account out of my individual name and put it into the name of my living trust.
Gerry: Okay, do that now?
Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes, you do that now