How to Title your Assets

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August 10, 2023
Author: Adam Kintigh

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We’ve recently had group members inquiring about how to title assets.  We’re going to breakdown the best practices for titling your assets.  Keep in mind, every situation is different.  Generally speaking, here’s your “to do list.”

  • Primary Residence – Revocable Living Trust
  • Primary Checking and Savings – Revocable Living Trust as the “Pay on Death”
  • Brokerage Accounts – Revocable Living Trust or in a “Wyoming Holding Company LLC”
  • Retirement Accounts – Generally you want the beneficiary of 401k’s, IRA’s, 403b’s, etc., to be your Revocable Living Trust
  • Life Insurance – Revocable Living Trust
  • Vehicles – Leave in your name.
  • LLC’s  – Assign the Membership (ownership) in the name of your Revocable Living Trust
  • Corporations – Assign the stock (ownership) in the name of your Revocable Living Trust
  • Residential Real Estate – Title in the name of your Land Trust with the Wyoming LLC as the Lifetime Beneficiary
  • Commercial Real Estate – Title directly into the LLC
  • Commercial Syndications – Title in your Revocable Living Trust or in a “Wyoming Holding Company LLC”

The idea of using the Wyoming LLC to hold brokerage accounts or commercial syndications is to protect your investments from you.  The idea of where to put assets is really based on your risk tolerance level.  If you have $100,000 in your brokerage account and you get in a car wreck, you’re $100,000 can be taken.  If you’re holding the $100,000 in a Wyoming LLC, the $100,000 CANNOT be taken from you.  Wyoming offers “reverse piercing protection.”  The plaintiff can sue you, they can win, but they can’t touch the LLC to satisfy your personal debts and obligations.

A lot of people are concerned about tax consequences or having issues with your mortgage company when moving property to a trust.  The Revocable Living Trust is not a taxable entity.  There are ZERO tax implications putting property in your Revocable Living Trust.  There are federal laws that allow you to transfer residential real estate to a Revocable Living Trust; the bank cannot invoke the due on sale clause.  The mortgage of course will stay in your name, but you’ll be able to title properties in the trust name without concerns.

Your goal is to make sure assets are titled properly for asset protection, and estate planning for your loved ones.  A good estate plan should include a “Pour-Over-Will.”  Anything you forgot to put in the trust, or chose not to put in the trust, automatically goes in the trust when you pass.  It’s the catch-all for things like vehicles.  It’s a pain to title vehicles in the name of the trust, so don’t worry about it.  The Pour-Over-Will covers that.

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If you need help deciding which assets go where, let us know.  Our team at NCH is here to support you!

DISCLAIMER: The above material has been prepared for informational purposes only, containing opinions of the provider, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consider consulting tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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