What types of assets cannot be placed in a trust?

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What types of assets cannot be placed in a trust

Trusts are legal entities that will assume ownership of or own some assets after a specific triggering event. A trust involves information on how investments in the trust should be handled and distributed. 

Trusts do not go through a probate process and thus remain private. Trusts unlike will protect against certain taxations, litigation, or creditors. Every faith has four basic requirements or elements, which need to satisfy when drafting or forming a trust that includes trustee, trust property, trust documents, and known or actual beneficiaries. Here, you will also understand the types of assets that cannot be placed in a trust.  

Types of trust for assets

There are two types of trusts based on when they take effect. If it takes effect when the grantor is still alive, then trust is known as Living trust, and when it takes effect after the demise of a person, then it is known as Testamentary trust.

1. Testamentary trust 

A testamentary trust is established using a will and comes into effect at the time of death under certain triggering events.

A typical example of a testamentary trust is a trust set up by parents for minor children for funding needs for welfare, health, and education of the children until a future date after the death of parents.

2. Living trust 

There are two main types of living trusts set up by a person while he is alive.

Revocable Trust

A revocable trust transfers the property ownership into the faith, but the grantor retains the power to alter, amend, or terminate the trust and its assets.

This asset does not necessarily save estate or inheritance taxes as the grantor receives the income, with distributions of assets to beneficiaries at death.

Irrevocable Trust 

An irrevocable trust cannot be altered, amended, or terminated by the grantor once it has been set up. The property transfer is complete without retaining power over the trust or its properties.

Types of Assets you should not place in a trust.

What types of assets cannot be placed in the revocable Living trust 

When drafting a living trust, you should not place certain assets into the living trust these include.

1. Retirement accounts of the revocable living trust

Retirement accounts such as 401(k), IRA, 403(b), and specific funds with qualified annuities should not place into a living trust. This should be avoided because while transferring a retirement account, you would need to withdraw your account, which would mean the imposition of income taxes.

So instead of placing your retirement account into your trust, you should name your trust as the primary or secondary beneficiary of that retirement account which would ensure the transfer of funds upon your death.

2. Health or medical saving accounts of a revocable living trust

These accounts allow you to use the money tax-free for medical expenses. So they cannot name under a living trust; instead, like retirement accounts, you can call the trust the primary or secondary beneficiary.

3. Active financial accounts such as Life insurance 

It is advisable not to transfer any financial statement you regularly use for active payments. As this could include bills or expenses, you have. You should always avoid this if you are not the trustee of the trust and retain total control and power over the assets.

Life insurance can avoid as it can inflate the valuation of your estate, heaping estate taxes on you. So you should consult your attorney regarding any financial or insurance policy transfer. It is instead advised to keep such accounts out of trust.

4. Vehicles or questionable assets of the revocable living trust

Vehicles or any questionable assets, such as planes and boats, usually do not go under the process of probate. It has been advised not to place it in trust because it has no appreciable assets. 

Another reason not to transfer assets is when you retitle such property in the name of a trust. This will consider a sale of a property. Therefore, some states impose estate taxes on these assets. Also, if you place vehicles into a trust, you later end up in a collision or accident with that vehicle. That is why the other party could sue your trust if a trust owns that vehicle.

Some states even do not let any beneficiary to named for vehicles.

What types of assets cannot be placed in the irrevocable trust

In an irrevocable trust, you should consult a financial and legal advisor before transferring any property or assets. Because once placed in an irrevocable trust, you forfeit the ownership of those assets and properties. So careful consideration will require.


Here, you will learn about trust and assets that you should not place in a trust while performing estate planning. An Estate planning attorney can help you plan a trust, assist with all purchases you should remember, and not put in a trust.

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