How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33802
Experience:  15 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
19958803
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dad had a living trust and then remarried. i believe they

Customer Question

my dad had a living trust and then remarried. i believe they refinanced the so that he could put her name on the property. he is now deceased and she says all of a sudden she doesn't know where the trust is.
question: once he passed away does every thing belong to his new wife, or does the trust have to be followed
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
.
Did father pass with a will in place as well as a living trust?
.
If so are you saying that aunt and ex-wife are the "trustees" of the trust?
.
If he had a will as well, who is the executor of his will?
.
Do you know if the house was in his and wife's name or was it in the trust?
.
.
thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just heard that he had a Will. And if that was trust
I don't know who the trustee of the will is. My dad told me that he updated the trust when he refinanced the house but his wife said he didn't. Are wills recorded.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I think I need to clarify a few things here first so we are both on the same page...
.
A will is an estate planning document that controls any assets that are in the deceased's name when they pass. The person who is in charge of settling the estate and filing a probate case is the executor, who is named in the will. A will has to go through probate with a judge formally appointing the executor to that position before they have the power to do anything.
.
In contrast, a living trust is an estate planning document that doesn't go through probate or the courts at all. The trustee of the trust is the person in charge of it and the grantor (maker) actually transfers assets out of their name into the trust's name. Then when the grantor dies, the trustees then distribute the assets to the beneficiaries directly without the intervention of the court.
.
So if he had a will, then he would have a executor, or executors, and they would have to file a formal probate case to settle his estate.
.
If he had a trust, the trustees would just distribute the assets of the trust directly to the beneficiaries.
.
So it all depends on what document he has, as they are completely different, to how they are settled.
.
But as to the house, if he refinanced and put his wife on the deed as a "joint tenant with right of survivorship", which is common, then when he passed, she would instantly become the sole owner and the house wouldn't pass through probate.
.
Anything that they owned jointly would pass to her instantly. But anything that he had in his name solely would pass either according to his will or under state laws if he had no will.
.
I hope that helps clear things up a bit.
.
.
thanks
Barrister

Related Estate Law Questions