“Information Bits from the Boss: Samantha provides brief answers to clients frequently asked questions”
What if I have a revocable living trust?
We have some clients who I meet with who have met with a previous attorney and they have already created a revocable living trust and they want to know what their options are related to that. The first question I have for them is always “Is the trust funded?” If they have actually funded the trust, then that actually avoids probate. If assets are owned in the trust on the date of death, then anything owned in the revocable living trust is not subject to the Pennsylvania probate process. If they have a revocable living trust and nothing is funded during life, meaning they haven’t made any transfers to the trust while they are living, then typically they have a will that pours everything over into the revocable trust. We call that a pour-over will. If they have a pour-over will then that means that the assets inside the estate are still subject to probate. If the trust doesn’t own the assets at death and the will pays everything to the trust using pour-over will then it is still subject to Pennsylvania probate. A client can revoke the trust if they want to do that. We can also modify a revocable trust, especially if it is already funded with assets, to make it irrevocable. An irrevocable trust can protect against long-term care costs. If you have any questions, please contact our office.