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  • Writer's pictureSarah Morris Ocampo

If I Have a Living Trust, Do I Still Need a Will in Nevada?

Updated: Jun 28

Many individuals often question whether a living trust removes the need for a will when planning for the future. The answer is no - a will remains essential even if you have a trust.

Let's dive into why having a will is still a crucial part of your estate planning process.

Understanding the Basics: Trusts and Wills

Before we dive into why both are necessary, let's quickly outline what trusts and wills are and how they function.

When planning your estate, establishing a trust can be a beneficial legal arrangement. A trustee manages assets on behalf of beneficiaries in a trust. A living trust, in particular, enables the transfer of assets during your lifetime, with the assets being administered according to your specified terms.

Upon your passing, the assets held in the trust can be distributed to your beneficiaries without the need for probate, resulting in potential time and cost savings.

A will, on the other hand, is a legal document that spells out how your assets should be distributed after your death. It also allows you to name guardians for minor children and to specify final wishes.

Why You Still Need a Will:

1. Pour-Over Will: A Safety Net for Missed Assets

One important purpose of a will in relation to a living trust is its role as a "pour-over will." This type of will guarantees that any overlooked assets that were not transferred into the living trust during your lifetime will be "poured over" into the trust after your passing.

This process guarantees that all your assets will ultimately be managed and distributed in accordance with the terms of your trust.

2. Guardianship Provisions

Designating guardianship provisions in your will is crucial if you have minor children. By specifying who should take care of your children if something happens to you, you can ensure that they will be cared for by someone you trust. 

This provides peace of mind for you and protection for your children.

3. Additional Wishes and Instructions

In addition to outlining asset distribution and guardianship, a will may also incorporate specific directives, such as arrangements for funeral services and personal requests.

Consult with a Professional

When it comes to legal matters, it's essential to seek guidance from a qualified attorney to guarantee that your estate plan is thorough and reflects your intentions. 

A trustworthy attorney will recommend that you have both a will and a trust as part of your estate planning.

Final Thoughts

Remember that having a living trust does not eliminate the need for a will. Both the living trust and the will play important roles in managing and distributing your assets according to your wishes and ensuring the well-being of your loved ones.

Make sure you have a complete estate plan in place by working with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process.

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