Brooklyn, NY asked in Estate Planning for South Carolina

Q: Can you fund a Revocable Trust with only a house listed as an asset? Can you avoid Probate by doing this?

What is the best way to protect bank accounts that is used regularly and you don't want to include it in a Trust?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: Funding a revocable trust with only the house as an asset will avoid probate as to the house. If your goal is to avoid probate altogether, then a non-probate transfer method should be engaged for each and every asset. For bank accounts, another option is to designate death beneficiaries. This is done by filling out and signing the bank's death beneficiary designation forms. However, a downside of this method is nobody is able to manage the accounts if/when the accountholder becomes incapacitated, a problem that is best solved by putting the bank accounts in the trust, too. You could bandaid over the incapacity problem with a power of attorney, but sometimes it is very difficult to get the banks to honor perfectly valid powers of attorney. Whatever you do, don't bandaid over the incapacity problem by "adding" people to your accounts. For more information about why not to do that, see:

https://www.cumberlandlegacylaw.com/diy-estate-planning-mistake-1--putting-other-names-on-the-deed

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