The Funding Review Meeting 

The funding meeting, if you have selected the option of allowing us to assist you with funding your trusts, is important to insure that your assets are placed into your trust plan.  Think of your trust as red flyer wagon - the trustee pulls the wagon around from the handle.  If there is nothing in the wagon, the person pulling the wagon is wasting his or her time, right?  Trust funding is the process of putting things into the wagon.

Here's a breakdown of a funding review meeting specifically designed for an estate planning client, focusing on integrating their assets into their overall estate plan:signers

Why a Funding Review Meeting Is Important

Often, clients have a well-crafted estate plan with wills, trusts, and other documents, but those plans can fall short or create unintended consequences if their assets aren't properly aligned. A funding review ensures a cohesive strategy between the legal structure of your plan and how your actual assets are owned and titled.

Who Attends:

  • Yourself: As the client, your active participation is crucial.
  • Your Estate Planning Attorney: They provide the legal expertise to understand how ownership and titling impact your estate plan.
  • Your Financial Advisor (if you have one): They offer a deep understanding of your various assets, account structures, investment portfolios, etc.

Key Focus Areas:

  1. Comprehensive Asset Review:

  • We'll create a detailed list of all your assets, including real estate, bank accounts, investment portfolios, business interests, life insurance, and retirement accounts.
  • For each asset, we'll examine how it is titled (i.e., how you own it – individually, jointly, with a beneficiary designation, etc.).
  1. Alignment with Your Estate Plan:

  • Your attorney will analyze how current ownership structures work with or against the goals outlined in your estate plan.
  • We'll identify potential conflicts. For example, a beneficiary designation on a bank account might accidentally override how you want that asset distributed in your will or trust.
  • This is also the time to discuss specific assets you intend to leave to certain beneficiaries, and ensure the ownership structure facilitates a smooth transfer.
  1. Trust Funding:

  • If your estate plan includes trusts, this is the crucial step where we ensure assets are transferred into the trust. This might involve retitling real estate, changing the ownership on accounts, or updating beneficiary designations.
  • Your attorney will walk you through specific processes and paperwork for each type of asset, ensuring legal compliance.
  1. Recommendations for Optimization:

  • There may be strategic reasons to adjust how certain assets are titled to maximize tax benefits, streamline the probate process, or enhance protection. Your attorney and advisor will jointly make such recommendations.
  • This might include creating joint accounts for convenience, establishing certain trusts for tax minimization, or choosing beneficiary designations vs. will-based transfers depending on your situation.


  • You'll leave the funding review meeting with a clear understanding of how your assets are situated in relation to your estate plan.
  • You'll receive a detailed action list outlining any title changes, re-designations, or transfers needed to bring your asset ownership in harmony with your plan's intentions.

Why This Matters:

An integrated funding review eliminates confusion, minimizes potential disputes, and ensures your wishes are carried out efficiently even after you are not there to supervise them directly. Proper asset alignment gives you the peace of mind knowing your estate plan truly works as intended.