If there is a Will dated 5 years ago and a Trust established 3 years ago, which one is used in case of death?

My father has a Will dated 5 years ago leaving the house to his stepchildren. He also established a Trust 2 years later which owns the house now. There terms of the Trust say that just a sum of money goes to the stepchildren. When he dies, which document would be used?

Asked on March 31, 2018 under Estate Planning, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If the house was put into the trust, it is now part of the trust; a will can be superceded by later events, like selling property or, as is this case, putting property into a trust. The will only controls as to what the deceased actually owned--and not as part of a trust, since a trust is a separate legal entity from the deceased--at the time he passes away. The will controls how his non-trust assets, money and property are distributed; the trust (e.g. the documents and instructions creating it) controls what happens to any assets and property, including the house, that are part of it.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.