Does a living revocable trust override joint accounts and sole benificiaries?

A deceased spouse has a living revocable trust that states everything to be split evenly between the surviving spouse and the children (of the deceased spouse). However there are insurance policies and stock accounts that are joint accounts between the husband and wife (no mention of it being part of the trust). Do these accounts belong to the surviving spouse or will they be split?

Asked on October 8, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Although the information that you have given is a good start to helping give guidance here, the documentation is question needs to be reviewed.  When you day that the trust says "everything" that generally means everything in HER estate and that does not generally mean assets that are jointly held and pass by operation of law to the spouse upon your death.  So with out knowing more here it appears that the insurance policies (life insurance I am assuming) and the stock accounts would not be included in the trust. Additionally, if they have not bee transferred in to the name of the trust or made part of a pour over Will prior to her death then again, they are not part of the trust.  Good luck.


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