Financial Account Questions

Generally, you want to list all non-retirement accounts. Retirement accounts such as an IRA, 401k, 403b, etc… are distributed at your passing according to the beneficiary designations you have on file with the financial institutions your accounts are located. Your living trust does not control the distribution of your retirement accounts. You can list your living trust as beneficiary of your retirement accounts, but you most likely will not want to do this because it can have serious tax consequences for the beneficiaries you name in your trust.

You do not need to list your life insurance and retirement accounts ((i.e., IRA, 401k, 403b, etc…) as assets of your living trust because these assets are distributed according to the beneficiary designation that the life insurance carrier or retirement account custodian have on file. It is important to check with your life insurance carrier or retirement account custodian to see if you have beneficiaries listed. If you don't, they will instruct you on how to name them. Many retirement account custodians such as Vanguard, Fidelity and Charles Schwab let you name beneficiaries online.

Financial accounts are pretty straightforward, you just contact your bank and let them know you have a trust, they will most likely be able to help you change ownership of your accounts to your trust. 


Think of your trust as bucket. Once you sign your trust, you have an empty bucket. You have to fill that bucket with your assets by changing title to your property and your financial accounts. If you don’t change title to your assets, then a Probate may be necessary to transfer your assets to your trust depending on the value of assets outside of your trust.

Listing your property here will include it on the “Schedule of Assets” for your trust which states what you are putting into your trust.

No, list only personal accounts. 

No, you don't have to put the account number, just the bank and type of account. For example, if you have a savings account at Wells Fargo, list "Wells Fargo Savings Account."