putting a bank account in a trust


Naming a Trust as Beneficiary of a Bank Account


When creating a revocable living trust, you must fund it in order for it to serve you. An unfunded trust can not hold the title to an estate. Naming a trust as beneficiary of a bank account can help you accomplish this. Any assets you wish to fund the trust with, like bank accounts, must be legally assigned or transferred to the trust. If you leave a trust unfunded, the estate’s assets will not pass easily to your desired beneficiaries. If you want to place liquid assets in a trust, you need to know how to fund a trust with a bank account. 

Putting a Bank Account in a Trust

Creating a revocable living trust gives you a legal document that will protect your property, your bank accounts, and any other assets in your estate. Putting a bank account in a trust is a very common part of funding the trust. This process requires new signature and ownership cards that retitle your bank account to the trust so that the trust becomes its legal owner. When it’s time, the cash in the bank account will be paid into the trust. 

Listing yourself as trustee on the account allows you the freedom to control all the details of the trust while you can. When you are no longer able to administer the trust, a successor trustee will take over for you and manage the trust on your behalf. Listing specific instructions in the trust document will help your successor carry out your wishes. 

How to Fund a Trust with a Bank Account in Five Easy Steps:

  1. Meet with your personal banker where your account is held.
  2. Tell your banker you would like to transfer a bank account into a trust.
  3. Remove any existing bank account beneficiaries.
  4. Present an official copy of the trust to your banker.
  5. Sign new signature and ownership cards.

There are some accounts and assets that do not belong in a trust. If you want to know more about what doesn’t belong in a trust, or if you have questions about putting a bank account into your existing trust, give your estate planning attorney at Phelps LaClair a call

Get Help Creating a Revocable Living Trust in Arizona

The most common mistake surrounding revocable living trusts is the failure to properly “fund” the trust. Now that you understand what funding a trust means, you can avoid this mistake! Besides funding the trust, it’s also vital to consider the role and responsibility of your successor trustee. Don’t select anyone without the proper training. 

To best protect your estate and avoid probate, it is important to have your trust drafted by an attorney who is experienced in estate planning. It is very dangerous to create your own trust from a computer-generated “one trust fits all” form. The estate planning experts at Phelps LaClair can help you create a personalized trust that fits your needs and your situation, not a generic plan that fits the needs of someone else. 

We service Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, and beyond. By attending our free webinars on estate planning, you can learn how to avoid the top seven estate planning mistakes and gain a free consultation!



photo by Steve Buissinne| from pixabay.com on 9/1/2021 | used under the creative commons license | no edits made

Next webinar
starting soon