YES — you do need a Revocable Living Trust and a “pourover” will. I won’t add any more exclamation points.
Here’s one of my columns to read to explain how they work together to create an estate plan.
Let me make just two key points:
1. You must deal with an estate planning attorney. This is not a do-it-yourself project! Find one by asking at the trust department of your bank or go to your local bar association website or the National Association Estate Planning attorneys website.
2. Make sure you TRANSFER TITLE to all your titled assets into the name of your new Revocable Living Trust. Otherwise the trust does you no good! Property such as real estate, investment accounts, money market funds, should all be re-titled into the trust. The big exception is retirement accounts and life insurance, where you should have a named beneficiary. Then the beneficiary inherits directly, without going through probate.
The pourover will just says “anything not named in my trust goes into the trust at my death” to be distributed according to my instructions.l
And aftereyou have those documents done, read this column about getting your affairs in order to make it easier on your children when you do pass on.