If I Want to Avoid Probate, Can’t I Just Have a Trust Prepared?

Even if you have a trust, you still need to have a will.

Trust May not Cover all Property
A trust will only take care of property that is titled or kept in the trust. To be effective, a trust should be accompanied by something called a pour-over will to put any property that may have been forgotten into the trust upon your death.

Trust Can be More Expensive than Probate
Also, using a trust just because you want to avoid probate may not make sense legally or economically. Probate in Washington is generally not a difficult, lengthy, or costly process. In some cases, the cost of preparing a trust can be 10 times the cost of preparing a simple will, and in some cases the cost of a trust may exceed the cost of an entire probate.

Before deciding to use a trust for estate planning purposes, you should consult an attorney to see if it accomplishes your goals, both legally and economically.

Douglas N. Kiger, Attorney at Law
Blado Kiger Bolan, Tacoma, Wash.

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