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Do I need a Will if I have a Revocable Living Trust?

By creating a living will, you may think that it is all that you need.  Yet, you will still need to have a Will. Ideally all of your assets should be in the control of your Trust. However, at the time of death, some of your assets may not be property titled to the Trust. In order for these assets “left out of the Trust” to be distributed according to the Trust terms, a Pour over Will is necessary.

A Pour over Will generally looks like a Last Will and Testament, which lists your marital status and the names of your children, etc. However, the Pour over Will contains a special feature which will pour over assets inadvertently left out of the Trust back into the Trust.  This special feature acts as a safety net for anything that isn’t covered by the Living Trust. Even if all of your assets are properly titled to the Trust, a Pour over Will is necessary to address Guardianship over minor children.

This “pouring over” involves court involvement to approve the transfer of assets from the decedent’s estate into the Trust. If you have to use the Pour-Over Will, the Personal Representative goes to court and initiates a probate that can usually be accomplished with relative quickness and minimal expense. In the absence of a Pour over Will, the asset(s) would be distributed according to the state intestate succession laws, rather than according to the trust terms. The process to distribute according to the intestacy laws is usually a lengthy and costly process.

It is important to have an experienced estate planning attorney review your estate plan to ensure you have the proper documents which go hand in hand with your Living Trust. If you would like to have peace of mind that your plan is solid, please call our office and schedule an appointment with one of our experience estate planning attorneys for a full review of your plan.

About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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