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

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2012

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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


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

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 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.

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