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If your will and trust conflict

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Trusts are pivotal in protecting an estate and growing it tax-free. In some instances, however, the wishes expressed in a will and the contents of a trust conflict. California attorneys are equipped to guide you in these cases, but the details of your trust are what matter. A trust stands apart from a will, though, at times, the instructions given to trustees are within a will. Since it is separate from a will, a trust is treated with seniority. Below is why.

The rights of a living trust

A revocable trust, which can be changed or revised, is technically a living trust. This means that you activate it while you’re alive. It goes into effect instantly, but for as long as you’re alive, you can also alter it. For example, you can add more assets. Because of it being activated when you’re alive, a trust has precedence over a will.

Your active will at death

The will you draft only goes into effect on the day of your passing. Assets and capital gains may have been added to your trust by that time. Additionally, the beneficiaries of your trust have already been named. The wishes of your will are considered secondary to a trust because the will becomes known much later.

Amending your trust and why

Amending a trust can ensure that conflicts don’t actually exist with your final wishes. Between a will and a trust, the will is the single-estate asset that’s instantly debatable upon your death. Your trust, however, is irrefutable and does not come into question during probate. Keeping a will and a trust from conflicting is difficult because of the full lives people are living. Amending your trust requires a bit of work.

Working with an estate planning attorney gives you the resources to expedite your amendments. Beneficiaries appreciate it when your estate assets don’t conflict.