Must I transfer all of my assets to my living trust?

You are not required to transfer assets that have beneficiary designations, including life insurance policies payable to a designated beneficiary. In addition, funds from IRAs and the majority of other retirement accounts, transfer automatically without going through probate.

Furthermore, if you establish a bank account as a payable-on-death account, or an “in trust for” account (a “Totten Trust”) with a designated beneficiary, it also passes to the beneficiary without a required transfer to the trust. However, it is recommended that you consult a seasoned trusts and estates attorney who can advise you on which assets need to be transferred to your trust.

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