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My sister is my only living relative except for nieces & nephews, My WILL is in her name, DO I still NEED A TRUST?

Sarasota, FL |
Attorney answers 4


This answer depends on your assets and what you will bequeath to her. A trust is great to control your assets after death. For example, should you want your nieces and nephews to obtain an asset at a certain age or protect the asset from creditors, a trust is the way to go. A will simply allows you distribute your assets at your death.

For further information, I would highly recommend seeking assistance with a probate attorney in your area.

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Please sit down with an experienced estate planning lawyer to discuss your circumstances. For example, a fully funded revocable trust would allow you to avoid probate and, perhaps, to have the trust continue for the lifetime of your sister. Once your sister passes on, then the assets could go to your nieces and nephews, rather than her husband. Good luck to you.

This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.


The primary benefits of a revocable trust vs. a will are that the trust is a better vehicle for avoiding probate, avoiding guardianship (should you become incapacitated) and is also more private than passing your estate via a will. Whether a trust is the right vehicle for you depends on the assets you own and the total value of your estate. You should consult with a qualified estate planning attorney about the possible creation of a trust.


Doing a living trust is a very special thing, but you may not even need one, and might be able to avoid probate otherwise. Speak with a probate attorney in your area about what your will says, because you will would not be in her name, she would be listed as a beneficiary.

R. Jason de Groot, Esq.,