Do you need a Will if you have a living Trust?

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Do you need a Will if you have a living Trust?

My father had a living trust drawn up with me as his secondary trustee to himself. The only immediate family left is he and I and my sister whom has nothing to do with either of us now for the last couple years. I don’t see where she deserves anything since she hasn’t cared to be in our lives. However I’ve been told by friends they thought I couldn’t leave her out of the inheritance even though when it comes time, my dad left the decision up to me as his Trustee to decide who gets what? Who is correct?

Asked on January 10, 2012 under Estate Planning, Louisiana

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A Will or a trust (testamentary) speaks at the death of its maker. Under the laws of all states in this country, if the maker of a Will or trust fails to mention a child in the document, the child who is omitted from being mentioned can contest the disposition of the document as a "pre-termitted heir". Meaning, a forgotten heir.

In such a situation, if the parent wants to give nothing to a child, the child is mentioned in the Will or trust and the document simply states that no provision is being made for that child.

As a trustee under your father's trust, it is not up to you to decide who receives what. It is up to the document's maker, your father under the laws of all states in this country.


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