What Happens to a Living Trust When One Spouse Dies?

Aug 7, 2014

Living trusts are useful for a wide range of people who are not necessarily wealthy. With a living trust, you control the assets while you are living. After you die, a trustee that you choose distributes assets to your beneficiaries. These distributions are not subject to the probate process.

Probate is the legal process that an estate passes through when a last will is utilized to distribute personal property. This process can be quite time-consuming, and the heirs to the estate do not receive their inheritances until after it has run its course.

Probate expenses are another concern. Various different probate costs accumulate, and money spent during probate is money that could have otherwise gone to the heirs to the estate.

Married Couples & Living Trusts

If you are married, you and your spouse could create a joint living trust. This would be a logical choice if you own most of your valuable property together, and you intend to leave your portion of shared property to your spouse.

When you create the joint living trust you and your spouse would be co-trustees, so you would share trust administration responsibilities.

In addition to the shared property, personal property could be conveyed into the trust as well. Each person could leave behind instructions with regard to the distribution of personal property. All of the property wouldn’t necessarily have to go to the surviving spouse.

Technically, each person could also leave his or her portion of shared property to someone other than the surviving spouse.

However, if you do not want your spouse to inherit your portion of shared property, and you want to distribute your personal property to others, you may want to create a separate living trust. Each partner in the union could have his or her own separate revocable living trust.

If you and your spouse each had your own separate living trust, when you die the trustee that you choose would distribute your assets according to your wishes. Your death would not affect the trust that was held by your surviving spouse.

Report on Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust can be a great choice if you want to facilitate smooth and efficient assets transfers to your loved ones after you pass away.

We have prepared a free special report that takes an in-depth look at living trusts. If you would like to learn more about them, download your copy of the report. You can obtain access through this link: Free Living Trust Report.

Free Estate Planning Consultation

We can answer any questions that you may have about living trusts and estate planning in general. Click this link if you would like to schedule a free consultation: Davenport IA Estate Planning Consultation.



Page Tools

  • Share this page SHARE
  • Print Friendly and PDF

Other Articles You May Find Useful

Attorneys Want to Help
Who Can Act as a Living Trust Trustee?
Attend a Free Estate Planning Seminar
How Is Property Distributed If There Is No Last Will?
Can I Just Plan My Own Estate?
What Is a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust?

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>