Shrewsbury, PA asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Maryland

Q: ex died with no will.He had a trust written in 2012 with only the 3 oldest named.there’s a total of 6 children

My ex had 3 kids with diseased wife, then 3 more with 2 other Woman. All carry his last name. His trust says:

any reference

to Grantor's "child" or "children" shall refer only to these

named persons. ** (Names 1st 3 kids)**

Any reference herein to "descendant" or

"descendants," or other words of like import, shall include

Grantor's children named above and leqitimate natural

descendants and those legally adopted into the line of

descent who are under the age of eighteen (18) years at the

time of adoption.

Any such term shall also include a

descendant in gestation at any time specified in connection

with the administration, division or distribution of any

portion of the trust estate.

Would all 6 be included To divide EQUALLY? He had no will. Just a trust.. No probate. The other 3 never was told about trust. The youngest heard about trust & got it from the lawyer that wrote it in 2012. The 3 tried to get the other 3 to sign a document without equal shares.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The first question I’d want answered is, what is in the name of the trust? If he owned anything in his personal name, then those assets do not pass in accordance with his trust, but by intestate succession, so that would mean divide six ways. Only those assets titled in the name of the trust are governed by the trust. Based on what you quoted, just the first three likely are entitled to the trust assets, assuming there are trust assets. However, a lawyer will need to review the trust and all its provisions to be certain. But it is all too common for people to pay to have a trust created, and then never take the steps necessary to Re-title the assets they own into the name of the trust. Therefore, a detailed listing of his assets are in order, and in what name they are held. Also, if assets like financial accounts have beneficiary designations in the event of death, then the named beneficiary(ies) receive those assets. There’s some homework to do.

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