Areas of Practice:

Elder Law
Estate Planning
Wills and Trusts
Estate Administration
Trust Administration
Real Estate

Simple Will not Enough

Client B made out a somewhat simple will before her death.  She left everything to her spouse except for some out of state  real estate that she inherited from her mother which she left to their children, asking tht it be held in trust for five years.  She named her spouse as the personal representative of her estate and the trustee of the trust for their children.  

Except for the out of state real estate, all of the property owned by the deceased was either owned jointly with her husband or it was devised by a beneficiary designation to her husband. The surviving spouse was left with  enough money to pay the bills and to pay for his wife’s last expenses and funeral costs. 

He owned the family home and he had enough money to maintain his style of living but he did not have enough money to maintain the out of state real estate,  pay the out of state real estate taxes and transfer the out of state real estate to his children in trust.  His job as his wife’s trustee was to transfer his wife’s out of state real estate to their children and to maintain the assets until he could do so. 



Had his wife not owned the out of state real estate, her husband would not have had to open up a probate estate in the state of Colorado, but now not only did he have to open up a probate estate in Colorado, where it is fairly simple,  he had to open up a probate estate in California where the other property was located and where probate is very expensive.   He had to hire two separate attorneys, one in Colorado and one in California.   He could not transfer the property to the trust or sell the property without opening up not one but two probate estates. 

If Client B had a living trust she could have transferred the property to the living trust before her death.  Her husband would not have had the expense and headaches of opening  up two probate estates.


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