What is a General Assignment form?

A General Assignment form is usually an all-encompassing document intended to transfer the entirety of one's assets to his or her trust. Most, if not all, estate planning lawyers will include some form of this document in the estate planning documents prepared for a client.

The document may be also used as the basis of a so-called "Heggstad" petition--a method of transferring real property to a trust without the need for a full probate administration. In preparing a General Assignment form, it is important to exclude assets that are not supposed to be covered by it, for example, property with survivorship benefits or those passing by virtue of a beneficiary designation.