If I’m an only child and my mother’s POA, as well as on her advanced directive, does she need to get a living Trust or will her Will keep her estate out of probate?

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If I’m an only child and my mother’s POA, as well as on her advanced directive, does she need to get a living Trust or will her Will keep her estate out of probate?

Her estate is valued at less than $90,000.

Asked on January 16, 2014 under Estate Planning, Oklahoma

Answers:

Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Her Will does not keep her estate out of probate. However, that may not be a very big problem. Her is potential estate is relatively small right now. Many states have a simplified probate procedure for smaller estates (in California, this currently applies to estates valued at less than $150,000). So it may not be too expensive or time consuming to go through probate.

Your mother may want to use a living trust for other reasons, however. For example, distributions through probate are a matter of public record, but distributions from a trust are not. Your mother should talk to a local estate planning or probate attorney to find the best strategy for her.

By the way, you may already know this, but the POA and advanced directive do not help you administer the estate. They are only effective during your mother's lifetime, and they become useless upon her death. 


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