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Can I hold individual stocks in my living trust?

Can I hold individual stocks in my living trust? And, if so, how do I re-title ownership of a currently owned stock into the trust without triggering a taxable event? My objective of doing this is to arrange my assets (other than IRAs and life insurance) that pass automatically to named beneficiaries so the stock does not have to go through probate upon my death.

Estate Planning, IRAs, Stocks, Insurance, Life Insurance
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Yes. Think of an account as just a shell. You can put almost any investment under that shell. You can buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, Cd's, etc. in a taxable account, Ira, Roth Ira, trust, custodial account, etc.

There should be no tax issues for simply changing the registation and journalling the assets into a trust. The cost basis should follow the positions over. You should note that trusts do in fact have a different capital gains tax and income tax schedules as well as rates. 

A trust is a great vehicle and might be the solution to your issue, but there are also less expensive ways to pass the assets down and avoid the probate process. You could also just add a Joint party to the account or if you don't want to give up any control and ownership now, you can add a TOD - Transfer on Death aka Designated Beneficiary. 

Finally, always consult with your estate planning attorney and CPA before you change account registrations. 

Best of luck! 

Mike

 

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