How do I void a Will and set up a trust instead?

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How do I void a Will and set up a trust instead?

We have a Will but would like to void it since it is out of date and set up a trust instead. We have only one house, our principal residence, and 3 adult children.

Asked on January 10, 2012 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A will is voided by a subsequent will; the easiest and best way to do this is therefore to draft a new will which will, once it is properly executed, replace the old will. If you intend to set up a testamentary trust (one that comes into being upon death), you can do that in the new will.  If you intended to set up an "inter vivos" trust, or one that comes into being now, you'll still need a new will anyway (even though the trust is set up by a separate document), to take care of property (such as later acquired property) that is not made part of the trust.

You are strongly advised to not do this yourself, but to let an attorney help you--particularly if you're setting up a trust. If trusts and wills are not created properly, they will not be given effect; the old will will remain in force.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A will is voided by a subsequent will; the easiest and best way to do this is therefore to draft a new will which will, once it is properly executed, replace the old will. If you intend to set up a testamentary trust (one that comes into being upon death), you can do that in the new will.  If you intended to set up an "inter vivos" trust, or one that comes into being now, you'll still need a new will anyway (even though the trust is set up by a separate document), to take care of property (such as later acquired property) that is not made part of the trust.

You are strongly advised to not do this yourself, but to let an attorney help you--particularly if you're setting up a trust. If trusts and wills are not created properly, they will not be given effect; the old will will remain in force.


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