Do You Still Need a Will if You Have a Trust?

Fri Sep 17, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Trusts are a popular estate planning tool for a number of reasons – they simplify estate administration, offer incredible flexibility, and help families retain their privacy, just to name a few. That said, many people wonder if they should have a will in addition to their trust, or wonder if they can create a trust after writing a will. If you have questions about whether you need a will, a Boca Raton probate attorney can provide you with the guidance you need. 

If You Already Have a Will

If you already have a will, you want to discuss forming a trust with a Boca Raton probate attorney before forming a trust. Forming a trust subsequent to a validly executed will can create several potential conflicts and cause significant confusion when it comes time to administer your estate. More than likely, your document will need to be modified or even revoked. An experienced Boca Raton probate attorney will be able to walk you through the process and discuss whether a trust is right for you. 

Why You Should Consider a Will if You Already Have a Trust

As time passes, our lives change – we get busy, we divorce and remarry, children grow up and leave the home, or our financial situations become more complex. For those who have created a trust, making sure that these circumstances are included in your estate plan can be a challenge. A common issue that arises is that people fail to include valuable assets in the trust. 

As a result, these assets will pass to your heirs outside of the trust. Without a will, this means that they will pass according to Florida’s laws of intestate succession, which may result in assets being distributed in a manner that you did not intend. 

How a “Pour-Over” Will Can Help

A pour-over will is a will that guards against any unintended consequences when it comes to administering your trust. In short, it is a will that directs any assets not included in your trust to be “poured over” into the trust upon your death. This allows your family and loved ones to receive the full benefit of the trust as you intended. 

However, it is important to understand that all pour-over wills are subject to probate. As a result, you will need to name a personal representative and anticipate working through the probate process, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Working with a Boca Raton probate attorney can ensure that probate proceeds as seamlessly as possible with minimal expense.

Contact a Boca Raton Probate Attorney at Ellis Law Group for All of Your Estate Planning Needs

Estate planning is an investment in your family’s future. A pour-over will can be that extra bit of insurance that protects your wishes for how your estate should be distributed. To discuss whether a pour-over will makes sense for you, call us today at 561-910-7500 or complete our online contact form to schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable Boca Raton probate attorney.