Transferring Assets to Trust


The goal is to transfer your assets to your trust, or better yet, an LLC owned by your trust and protect those assets from your creditors as a result. We recommend for business or income producing assets that you establish an LLC held by the trust which in turn owns one or more LLCs that actually hold the assets. This “double envelope” provides an additional layer of protection and maintains the anonymity of the trust and also precludes the liabilities of one operating LLC being asserted against another LLC. This concept was first used by Standard Oil of Ohio in the late 1800s and has been perfected since then. Our fees include the establishment of the trust, the trustee, the holding company and one operating subsidiary specifically for this purpose.

Residential Rentals and Commercial Real Estate. You transfer these assets into an operating LLC using a warranty deed. Many people recommend quit claim deeds, but the use of this deed may cut off your title insurance protection and possibly cause difficulties in the sale of the property at a later date. The best source for transferring real estate is your local title insurance company or a local attorney who is able to file deeds electronically in the state in which the property is located.

LLCs, Corporations, Partnerships and Other Business Entities. These assets may be transferred into the holding company under your trust through a brief form available for free on our web site and noting the transfer on the membership interest records of the business entity.

Bank Accounts, Investment Accounts and Stocks. These assets may be transferred directly to trust by contacting the financial institution holding the account and providing the information they need. These assets are held under privacy protection laws and for this reason, you do not lose the anonymity of your trust by disclosing this information to the financial institution.

Vehicles. These may be transferred to your LLC under the trust by negotiating your certificate of title and registering the change of ownership with your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Before you do this, you should contact your insurance agent directly to inform him or her of the transfer and the results to you in making the transfer.

Personal Property. These assets may be transferred directly to the trust via a brief form available for free on our web site. These are not business assets and for this reason may not be placed into an LLC. Since these assets are not evidenced by a certificate of title, the ownership of things such as your couch and art are anonymous to begin with.

IRAs; Pension Funds; and other Tax Deferred Accounts. These cannot be transferred into a trust, but you can designate the trust or an LLC under the trust as the beneficiary after your spouse and you die. Before you do this, you need to consult with your tax adviser to determine the best course of action as this area of the tax law depends on your personal situation.

Personal Residence. This may not be owned by an LLC since it is not a business entity but may be owned by your trust. The transfer of this property comes about through filing a deed with your county clerk and by that becomes a matter of public records. Alternatively, you can establish a land trust that has as its trustee the holding company LLC under your trust and has as its beneficiary another LLC. This provides all the tax benefits to you and makes ownership anonymous.

Patents, Trademarks, Tradenames. You must contact the government agency they are registered with and file the forms they require.

Thank you and good luck in your efforts.

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Cloud Peak Law Group, P.C.
1309 Coffeen Ave Sheridan, WY 82801

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