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Does personal property belong in a trust?

Prior posts on this blog have described some of the benefits of creating a trust. For example, one of the primary reasons why a person in Florida sets up a trust is so that his or her heirs will be able to avoid the cost and time that it takes for a decedent's estate to get settled through the probate process. Furthermore, trusts can provide certain tax benefits when it comes to transferring assets from one person to another.

But, what about personal property? Does personal property belong in a trust? Personal property generally includes any property that is not real estate. Items like automobiles, bank accounts or even stocks and bonds are all examples of personal property. These kinds of personal property can have tremendous value, and a person creating a trust would likely want to include these items in the trust.

In addition, things like jewelry, furniture and pieces of art are also examples of personal property. Although these items are usually not as valuable as cars or financial assets, they can still have meaningful value. Moreover, these kinds of personal property items often carry substantial sentimental value, meaning that a person's heirs will likely want to hang onto these items after their loved one's death.

For all of the same reasons that a person might transfer their title to real property to a trust, they may also want to transfer their personal property to the trust. Completing this process starts with the person taking an inventory of all of their personal property. Then, the person creating the trust needs to execute an assignment agreement that transfers their rights and interests to the personal property to their trust.

Distribution of assets through a trust comes with various advantages, all of which are applicable when it comes to personal property. People in the Winter Haven or Lakeland area who are interested in learning more about trusts or any aspect of trust administration should seek the guidance they need to answer their questions.

Source: Zacks, "The Assignment of Personal Items to Trust," Joe Stone, Accessed May 18, 2015

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