Transferring Personal Property Without Titles or Deeds to Your Trust

Most assets don't have formal titles or deeds, such as clothing, furniture, jewelry, and electronics. However, it is still important to transfer these types of assets to the Trust. This can easily be done by signing a general transfer document stating that the property is now owned by the Trustee of the Trust. Just keep this document with the Trust records. We provide a general transfer document template, named "Bill of Transfer" in our Trust Funding Guide.

What kinds of personal property can I transfer to a trust using the general transfer document?

You should include any tangible personal property, for example:

  • Furniture and furnishings
  • Appliances and electronic equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • China, silver, crystal
  • Books, papers, photographs
  • Videos, digital copies of any media
  • Artwork
  • Private memberships, frequent flyer miles, and patronage benefit accounts
  • Other tangible property

How do I transfer personal property to a trust?

  1. Review the "Bill of Transfer" Document: Start by examining the "Bill of Transfer" template found on the last page of the Trust Funding Guide. Feel free to use the provided sample language or tailor it to suit your needs.
  2. Complete the "Bill of Transfer": When filling out the "Bill of Transfer," broad categories like “furniture,” “clothing,” and “jewelry” can be used to represent your assets. However, for items explicitly listed in the Trust or of significant value or earmarked as a gift in your Trust, consider listing these separately for clarity.
    • Remember that while you are alive, you are the Trustee of your Trust.
    • You can double-check your Trust Name in the 'Trustees' section of your Estate Plan Summary.
  3. Sign and Store the "Bill of Transfer": Finalize the transfer by signing the "Bill of Transfer," which officially declares the property as being under the Trustee's ownership. Safeguard this document with your Trust records for documentation and future reference.

 

Learn more about personal property without deeds or titles with this short video:

More Resources

View, download, or print our comprehensive guide to funding your Trust: Trust Funding Guide

Learn more about transferring various asset types to your Trust: Funding Your Trust: How to Transfer Assets to a Trust

This information is intended as a reference only. It is not legal advice nor intended to cover every possible situation. Please consult an attorney if you have specific questions. Some details for funding your Trust may change over time. For example, if the Trustee changes, that would likely affect how you would title assets held in the Trust.

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