A living trust provides your loved ones with directives that can be put into action if you should become incapacitated or pass away unexpectedly. You may even think that this type of document replaces a will and provides all the information required for the handling of your funds and property. However, there are some circumstances that a living trust cannot provide for, so you may want to keep a few tips in mind for drafting a will as you create your living trust.
- Use a Pour-Over Will
While you might have named your major assets in a living trust, you may acquire property after you create the document that is not specifically bequeathed to anyone. To prevent this issue, consider using a pour-over will, which funnels the remaining property into your living trust. While your relatives still may require the documents to enter probate, using this type of will can make the process simpler.
- Consider Minor Family Members
If you have young children, then you may have to provide a will along with your trust because the latter document usually does not allow you to list directives for their care. Appointing guardianship, naming fiduciary responsibility and whom you want your children to live with if you die must usually all be laid out in a will, which you can draft along with your living trust.
- Provide for Debt Forgiveness
A will can provide debt forgiveness for family and friends who owe you money, so if you want to use this directive, you may need more than a living trust. For example, if your son borrowed $15,000 to buy a new truck but then never paid you back because he lost his job, you can forgive that debt in your will. You may want to ask your attorney about how to list forgiven debts as you make your will.
- Keep Future Circumstances in Mind
While a living trust allows you to make changes to which heirs you name, the transfer of property and provide for any major changes in your family, a will can help cement your directives for the future. Death, divorce and other unforeseen circumstances might cause your family to argue your living trust in probate if you should die without a will to back it up, but providing such a document can prevent these arguments and ensure that your heirs will receive money or property as you wish.
Creating a will along with a living trust can ensure that your directives are carried out properly and without the need for endless months of probate. For more information, contact a Folsom living trust lawyer today.
Thanks to the Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and tips for setting up a living trust.