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Can a person have a will and a living trust

Knoxville, IA |

can a person have a will and a living trust? if they do which one takes priority?

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Attorney answers 3


Absolutely. Neither really has "priority" in the way I think you are asking your question. When you establish your trust, you will convey your assets into it. For example, you will sign a deed conveying your home from yourself individually to your trust. Anything in the trust is not part of your estate when you die. Anything not in your trust will be distributed according to the terms of your will. It is a bit more complicated than this simple question and answer forum allows, so your best bet would be to discuss it with an estate planning attorney in your area.

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Not only is it possible, but it is recommended. A living trust (also called a revocable trust or an inter vivos trust) can only deal with the assets that are specifically transferred to it. So long as the trust is valid, it will govern the handling of all trust assets, and the will would have no effect over assets in the trust. There should always be a "pour over" will drafted in connection with a living trust. This will ensure that any assets not handled through the trust can be properly handled according to your wishes. You should consult with an estate planning attorney in your area for more specific advice.

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Typically, the will is termed a pour over will that sweeps assets that were in the decedent's name only, into the decedent's trust. In fact it would probably be negligence on the part of the drafting attorney NOT to draft a pour over will in conjunction with the living trust.