Creating a Will When You Already Have a Living Trust

Legal Tips and Resources

After making a living trust, you might feel you’re done with your estate plan. Unfortunately, that’s not everything you need to do. A living trust can do a lot of things, but there are some things it can’t do. This is why it’s necessary to complete all the documents essential to an estate plan. This includes creating a will. The following are some things to understand about creating a will, even if you’ve already got a living trust.

Some Similarities Between a Will and a Trust

There are some similarities between a will and a trust that might leave you thinking they’re the same document. For example:

  • Both documents name beneficiaries for your property.
  • You can leave property to minors, though they are different processes.
  • Both documents are revisable while you’re still alive.

A Living Trust Doesn’t Do Everything a Will Does

A living trust is a great way to protect property while you’re alive, and ensure it gets to the proper beneficiaries after you die. If you wish to avoid probate, a trust is the way to go. Trusts are private documents, even after your death, so you don’t have to worry about anyone fighting over inheritance or the details you have decided on. While these are great benefits, this isn’t all you have to do.

A trust doesn’t allow you to name a physical or financial guardian for your children. You won’t designate an executor of estate in a trust, and you won’t outline details about your debts and taxes. Trusts typically have specific pieces of property placed in them, rather than your entire estate. As you can see, a trust may be more specific, but you probably have more than those specific items to take care of.

What You’ll Need Completely Separate Documents to Do

You’ll notice both a will and a trust are an essential part of your estate plan, but there are some other documents you’ll need as well. Your trust and your will typically don’t include property for pets. Since they can’t legally own any, you can’t leave them any. Instead, you could name someone in your will to care for your pet, or you could set up a pet protection trust that a human would manage.

You also wouldn’t want to leave your funeral plans in your will or a trust. Many family members don’t actually read through any wills or trusts until after the funeral has taken place, so it wouldn’t do you any good. Instead, leave the plan with your funeral director, and give instructions to family members on which funeral home to contact.

Creating Your Estate Planning Documents

An estate plan is a great way to ensure everything runs smoothly during your life and during your death. To get started with these documents, contact a trust fund lawyer, like the Yee Law Group for a consultation.