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?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
  • 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:

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.