LAST WILLS AND TESTAMENTS
We’ve all seen movies and TV shows that depict potential beneficiaries huddled in an attorney’s office, anxiously awaiting the reading of a deceased family member’s Last Will and Testament. Upon learning that Great Aunt Agnes bequeathed her mansion and millions to her cat, the wails of the greedy family members can be heard echoing the city streets.
This scenario may make entertaining television, but it generally doesn’t occur in reality. In most cases when the decedent has planned ahead, it isn't the Last Will and Testament that's relied upon - it's the Revocable Living Trust (RLT).
So what is the purpose of a Last Will and Testament, then? Basically it serves as a back up to the RLT. The RLT is the principal document but if there are any assets that are left outside of the RLT after you pass, the Last Will and Testament - which is commonly referred to as a Pour-Over Will when it backs up the Trust - ensures that those assets still get distributed pursuant to the terms of your RLT.