Clarksville, TN asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Tennessee

Q: Schedule A of a trust is blank. As sole beneficiary, successor trustee and spouse, how will assets be dispersed?

My husband (the grantor) created a trust and named himself the trustee. He named me the sole beneficiary as well as the successor trustee. The problem is the Schedule A/Assignment of Property does not actually mention what property. Is it assumed that all assets will go to me his current spouse of 13 years or is it possible for his ex-wife or children from that marriage to contest that?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Columbia, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: A contest is certainly possible since there are NO assumptions. Based on what you have said, I suspect a contest is indeed likely. This is unfortunately a common problem with some " do-it -yourself" trust/estate planning documents: the documents get signed, but the transfers to be made to the trust never get properly completed. It sounds like the trust was never "funded"- if the trust hold no property, then there is nothing for the trustee or substitute trustee to distribute. I doubt if the ex-wife has any rights, but his children ( and you as surviving spouse) are probably the heirs to his estate. You should consult an experienced probate/estate lawyer as soon as possible for more specific advice on your situation.

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