Oklahoma estate planning: If I have a living trust, do I still need a will?

I have talked quite a bit both on this blog and in my Oklahoma estate planning podcast about how the living trust in last will and testament work together. However, I realize there are still some questions about why someone would have a will if they already have a living trust. Also, the question comes up “why would I need a trust if I already have a last will and testament”?

Usually when you have a living trust you will also have a last will and testament which is often known as a pour-over will. The purpose of this will is to send any property that has not been transferred to your trust at the time you pass away to the trust. The living trust is still the primary document that controls your estate and disposes of your property. The pour-over will is a safety net that simply provides that all of your property goes to your living trust.

If you have a fully functional last will and testament, you probably will not have a living trust. In this case, the last will and testament will actually determine where your property goes, nominate guardians for your minor children and address other issues related to death in the transfer of property.

If you want to find out more about these topics please consider listening to my podcast series which is 8 brief episodes providing more detail on estate planning. You can subscribe to the podcast, Estate Planning Demystified, in iTunes or listen to it right here.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. I tend to focus on estate planning and business issues. I make a living as an attorney working for Resolution Legal Group in Oklahoma City. I am husband to Amy and the father of Sam and David. We live exactly in the path where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."