Woman warns against writing a will, says to leave this behind instead

@theonithelender/TikTok Romolo Tavani/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘You need to know about this’: Woman warns against writing a will, says to leave this behind instead

‘Probate is PAINFUL & EXPENSIVE! ‘

 

Beau Paul

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It may seem like a grim prospect, but it’s just common sense to figure out where your assets will end up when you die—even if you aren’t planning on doing so for some time to come.

So, setting up a will seems like a no-brainer, right?

Well, mortgage expert Theoni Rapo is reaching out on social media to say be wary of the legal ramifications of trusting your estate to a will. Instead, she suggests an option that might save your loved ones a lot of time and pain.

Rapo, known as @theonithelender on TikTok, posted a video to her account on Friday purporting to explain the intricacies of probate law and wills in addition to her suggested workaround. The video has a staggering 2.7 million views as of this writing.

On the Annie Mac Home Mortgage page, Rapo is advertised as being “knowledgeable in all things mortgages” and states she “double majored in economics and business” at Washington College.

“When you leave something in a will, it will go through probate when you die,” Rapo states at the video’s beginning.

According to Investopedia, probate is the analysis of assets and debts of an estate performed after an individual’s death. The ultimate distribution of the assets is determined by a court of law.

“Obviously, when you leave things in a will, you think that the person that you left the thing in the will to will get the thing, but that’s not how it works in a will,” Rapo claims.

“Basically, it goes to the courts,” she asserts. She states that after the court makes sure the deceased’s debts have been paid off, the court will “divvy up” what remains.

“And it can obviously be expensive and time-consuming,” she says. Rapo claims that a piece of land left to you in a will cannot be sold “until probate is over.”

The solution, according to Rapo, is “to have a living trust.”

According to NerdWallet, “The main difference between wills and trusts is that wills take effect after you die, while trusts can take care of your assets while you’re still alive.”

“Trusts can help an estate avoid probate, the court process for distributing your property; wills, on the other hand, typically must go through probate,” the site continues. “Generally, you may need a will if you’re married, have kids or own property. Setting up trusts is an extra step that can make sense if you have a large or complicated estate, or if you need more control over how assets are distributed.”

At this point in the video, Rapo states that when it comes to trusts, “the old way of doing a living trust was that you had to go to a lawyer, and it was thousands of dollars to set up.”

She then claims she received a direct message from a company called “Get Dynasty” that allows its users to set up a living trust online.

Rapo advertises the service on her Linktree, which is available in her TikTok bio.

Several companies offer similar services, including LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, and FreeWill.

The Daily Dot has contacted Get Dynasty regarding any sort of business arrangement or sponsorship between the company and Rapo.

@theonithelender Replying to @Rsweetreasures_ Wills are a scam. Set up a living trust. The info for the company i mentioned is in my bio 🫶 #livingtrust #wills #probatesucks #homeownertips #homeowners #probate #livingtrusts #mortgage #realestate ♬ original sound – Not Your Daddys

Do experts agree with her advice?

According to Betterinvesting.com, “Establishing a living trust doesn’t obviate the need for a will. If you have some assets that aren’t in the living trust’s name, the will dictates what happens to these assets. If you have minor children, the will is the document in which a guardian is designated. The will is also the document in which you name the executor
or personal representative of your estate.”

“My law team” at Dallas law firm Wood Edwards LLP also notes, “A living trust also offers no flexibility after you die. Your beneficiaries can’t add assets you forgot to include or never retitled. Finally, a trust doesn’t allow you to assign a legal guardian for your minor children or grant someone medical power of attorney.”

Regardless, most of Rapo’s viewers seemed to agree with her suggestion.

Traci Kelley980 (@beehappylady) wrote, “Probate is PAINFUL & EXPENSIVE! Setting up a living trust for our kids!”

Another viewer added, “I used to work in probate court. We had a case that was open for 8 years because the family was fighting over a flower pot. True story.”

“My dad had a living trust set up when he found out he had a brain tumor. I was his only kid and got the house and it was as easy as can be to take over the house when he passed. 10/10 recommend,” another viewer wrote.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Rapo via email and TikTok direct message.

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