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I just completed my Will but am now questioning if I should have a Revocable Living Trust.

Billings, MT |

I want my final expenses to be paid from my life insurance and the remaining balance split between the three beneficiaries. The only monies in my estate upon my death (at this point in time) would be my retirement account and my life insurance...I do not have any great sums in savings or investments. However, the insurance policy will automatically divide the money between the three beneficiaries, same with the retirement. How can I get that money pooled into one account to pay the expenses and then divide the balance between the 3?

Attorney Answers 3


Based on your summary, I am not sure that you need a Will OR Trust, strictly speaking. You need to check with a Montana estate planning attorney before deciding on anything, for sure.

The assets that you have mentioned can all be disbursed by way of beneficiary designations. This eliminates the need for probate, and hence, eliminates the need for a Will. Whether or not a Trust would be useful in your situation depends on your other planning objectives. Most assets with beneficiary designations, such as insurance, can be assigned (or partially assigned), in order to pay for funeral expenses. If you are concerned that your beneficiaries might not follow through, then prepaying your funeral would be a way for you to make sure.

You also need to have a General Durable Power of Attorney for health care and for financial matters. This will insure that you and your finances are taken care of, if you ever become incapacitated. In my opinion, this form or forms is more important to you than a Will or a Trust, because it takes care of YOU, while you are still alive.

An estate planning attorney can answer all of your questions and determine what options are best to achieve your needs.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.

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This sounds like something you probably should have discussed with your lawyer the first time around. Did you hire a lawyer to prepare your will? If it was a non-lawyer form job, then certainly you should hire a lawyer and incur the reasonable expense to get this set up properly.

No legal representation exists by virtue of this answer. Consult your attorney. Licensed to practice law in Indiana and Illinois. Circular 230 Disclosure: any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein.

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You have had a go on your own, and you are not certain of what you have done. Time to see a a lawyer, or study up so you can be certain. Time is money, take your pick.

DISCLAIMER: The forgoing comment is for general educational purposes only, and is not legal advice upon which the reader may rely as the commenter has no actual knowledge of the facts of the case, has not interviewed persons or examined evidence, and has not researched the applicable law. The comment is based only on the facts provided, which are extremely limited, and may or may not be true. Complete defenses may prevent the success of any claim. Competent legal advice should always be obtained before taking any legal action or filing suit. Readers employ any information provided herein at their own risk.

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