What should be left in a trust instead of a will?


Everyone should have an up-to-date will. When you create a will, you are ensuring that your assets are passed down to your beneficiaries as you intended. However, a will does not cover everything you need it to. Assigning a designated beneficiary in a trust can sometimes cover more than it would in a will. If you need help making sure your assets and other belongings are protected after you die, contact a devoted Montgomery County Estate Planning Attorney who can assist you in planning a will, trust, and estate.  

When can a trust cover what my will can’t?

A will can cover a lot of components, but it does have some exceptions which include:


Typically, after you die you will leave your property to a designated beneficiary. However, there are several properties that you cannot transfer in a will. You are not able to transfer any properties that are owned as joint tenancies. It doesn’t matter what you write in your will about these types of properties because the remaining share will pass to the surviving owner.


If you are looking to pass down your property, it can be stuck in probate for months if you leave it in your will. A property left in a will must be validated through the court. Probate cannot be avoided when a property is left to someone through a will. However, if you create an estate plan or a living trust it can help you avoid probate.

Funeral Arrangements

When you create a will, you can write a plan for your desired funeral arrangements. However, wills are normally something people don’t read until months are someone’s death. This means there is no guarantee that your wishes will be honored, as your family might go over your will too late.

IRA, Insurance Policies, and Retirement Plans

When you die, your IRA, insurance policies, and retirement accounts will be transferred to your designated beneficiary. These types of accounts are not covered in your will, the only way to transfer these is through a designated beneficiary.


If you have a child or family member with a disability as your beneficiary, you shouldn’t leave any information about long-term care. If you intend to provide long-term care, you should create trust. A trust will ensure that a specific amount of money will be used to provide care for their needs. Trusts work better in these circumstances to ensure your loved one is taken properly care of.


It is common for people to consider their pets a part of their family. However, you cannot leave any assets or belongings for your pet to inherit in your will. Nevertheless, if you want to make sure your pet is cared for, you can create trust that will ensure their needs are met after you die. You can leave a certain amount of money in a trust and assign a trusted friend or family member to be the trustee. Meaning, you will be leaving this responsibility in their hands. They will use the money in the trustee to make sure your pet is taken care of.

If you are worried your will doesn’t cover everything you need it to, you can create an estate plan, or living trust, and assign designated beneficiaries to your accounts to ensure your assets are passed down as you desired. Contact one of our devoted and qualified team members who can help you make sure you are taking the right steps to ensure your assets are distributed as you intended.