If You Have a Trust, You May Still Need a Will

Often, trusts are advertised as the ‘be all end all’ of estate planning. Many people believe that, if they created a trust, they do not need a will as well. However, as a recent article explains, a complete estate plan includes a will, as well as a trust.

Last Will And Testament
Last Will And Testament (Photo credit: Ken_Mayer)

Often, estate planning attorneys couple trusts with pour over wills. A pour over will is created in order to direct assets to the trust. Think of it as a safety net to catch any assets that you may not have otherwise directed into the trust. As a safety net, the will serves an intermediary role between you and your trust.

The terms of the trust will, of course, control the ultimate distribution of the assets. If a person fails to direct an asset to his or her trust, the asset will be controlled by his or her will. These outside assets are typically probate assets. If the person dies without a will, the outside assets will be transferred according to state law, despite your wishes in the trust.

Many people falsely assume that they do not need a pour over will because they have otherwise promised to fund the trust. However, most people fail to include at least a handful of probate assets.

For assistance in coupling a will with your trust, contact us at (626) 696-3145. Happy Halloween.

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