Ask Terry Questions Will vs RLT

Will vs RLT

By Terry Savage on August 05, 2023 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Hi Terry, I just set through your discussion on wills, trust and estate and thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife and I have all the documents you referenced, and the kids were given copies. Our Wills were drawn up years ago and in fact we have even added a codicil. And I tell you, we are so glad we did as my wife has now developed Alzheimer’s and as you mentioned in your recording if we hadn’t prepared those docs years ago, she would not have the capacity to do so now. What we didn’t have which I downloaded from your site was the organizer which I plan to complete immediately. Moreover, after hearing you say it can complete it online, I’m planning on going back to do that, as well as provide blank copies to the kids. Additionally, the family meeting will be planned very soon; as though the kids all received copies, they were delivered to them individually as time and circumstanced permitted.

What I am really wondering about now is a couple of years ago we created A RLT in which we transferred the deed to our house as well as our banks accounts and vehicle. Does one of these documents’ “trump” the other. I do understand the value of the RLT and how that is much more convenient with respect to the beneficiaries obtaining title and ownership to the property listed therein. I’m thinking the documents can co-exist as we made some specific bequest in the will that doesn’t involve the property in the trust. And I correct in this assumption.
Thank you for all the useful information you continue to provide to your readers and listeners.

Terry Says

I’m glad you have done all that planning. Now is the time for a visit with your estate planning attorney, with all the documents, and perhaps even with your oldest child who should likely be named as successor trustee to your RLT, in case you cannot act. In other words, you might not have to do new documents, but you might have to make some updates.

If you’ve titled the house etc in the name of the RLT, that will take precedence over the will — and be distributed directly without passing through probate. But if the old will designates the house, there could be some confusion. Now is the time to clear that up!

Recent Financial Planning / Retirement Questions



a personal
finance question