The Critical Last Step

As a parent of teens, part of my role as their mom is to begin letting go of making sure they are on top of everything they need to be on top of.

It was a really hard lesson for one of my boys this past school year when he completed all the work for something that was kind of a big deal, yet failed to take a critical last step.

In fairness to him, he honestly thought he was done and had completed all the tasks. This happens to the best of us. As his mom, it broke my heart that he had put in all the work yet in the end, it did not matter at all, except to teach a valuable, albeit hard, lesson.

I parallel this story to something I see in my role as a financial advisor and a critical last step I make my clients aware of and guide them in completing. It is in regards to estate planning.

Let me start by saying this:

Everyone needs some level of an estate plan.

Regardless of how young or old.

Regardless of income or asset level.

Everyone needs at least some level of life planning in the event of incapacity or death.

That said, if you have trust planning done, there is something that is referred to as “funding your trust”.


This is an often misunderstood, overlooked or forgotten process.

“Funding your trust” is the act of assigning assets to the trust so that in the event of your incapacitation or death, those assets will be handled according to the terms of the trust you so diligently and painstakingly took the time to create.

Depending on the type of account or asset, this may mean retitling the asset to the name of the trust or making the trust either a primary or contingent beneficiary.

Like the critical last step my son missed after all his hard work, if you don’t fund your trust, then the creation of the trust means nothing.

So please, if you’ve had trust work done in your lifetime and are not sure if you ever properly funded it, take the time now to review all of your assets and make the needed changes. Your loved ones will be so thankful.