A Trust does not transfer to a Beneficiary upon the death of the Grantor. Instead, the property or assets of the Trust transfer to the Beneficiary.
The Trust documents direct the transfer, sale or other disposition of the property owned by the Trust for the benefit of the Beneficiaries upon the death of the Grantor.
As such, it is important to properly fund the Trust, i.e. transfer property to the Trust, be it real property, personal property, tangible or intangible property. Properly funding the Trust will allow the property transfer to the beneficiaries as stated in the Trust documents, thus avoiding the requirement of a probate court proceeding.
While a Will can be used in conjunction with a Trust (generally referred to as a “Pour Over Will” because the will “pours” property into the Trust that was not transferred while the Grantor was alive), it may be best to transfer property to the Trust while the Grantor is still alive. Reason being: even with a Pour Over Will, a probate proceeding may need to be initiated to transfer the property to the Trust.