Wills and trusts are the most common types of estate planning documents people use. While they have a lot of similarities, they also have a lot of differences you should be aware of. |
Why? Because the differences could cost your family a lot of money and heartache after you pass away. To avoid this, you need to have a good understanding about will vs trust and what estate planning goals they can help you achieve.
Wills and living trusts are both very flexible documents. This is why they are so popular when estate planning. Both can be changed or revoked before you pass away.
This means that any asset you include in the will or trust can be removed. You can also add more to them at a future date. Additionally, you can add or remove beneficiaries whenever you would like.
Probate court can be very messy and expensive. It can create additional stress for your family during an already sad period of time as they mourn your loss. The question is, do you want to put your family through probate just to get the assets you want them to have in the first place.
A will is a guaranteed ticket to probate. If your will gets challenged in court, this could extend the process and prevent your family from getting your money and assets in a timely fashion. A trust on the other hand avoids probate court.
This means that your family can get your money and property quickly. This is one of the major advantages of a trust vs will that you need to be aware of when creating your estate plan.
This can’t be discounted. Maybe there’s already drama in your family. Maybe there are long, simmering disputes. Maybe there is some sort of interpersonal rivalry that you just can’t see right now.
Whatever the case may be, if there’s an issue regarding a will or disposition of property, these tensions can and do come up. Sometimes this leads to a will being contested.
To reduce the chances of a contest or drama, it is usually best to go with a living trust because they are much harder to challenge. This can help ensure that your money and property gets distributed the way you want without causing further frustration.
Planning For Incapacity
Another big difference between will vs trust is planning for incapacity. It’s not uncommon for people to become sick or incapacitated before they die. If this happens, you can’t make financial and medical decisions on your own behalf.
This can negatively impact your family both financially and emotionally. A living trust allows you to plan for incapacity. You can give instructions as to what type of medical care you would want to receive and how your money should be handled.
This allows you to take care of yourself and your family during a time of a tragedy. A will does not allow you to do this because it only becomes valid AFTER you pass away. If protecting your family and assets in the event of incapacity is important for you, you should consider a living trust over a will.
While both WillVsTrust are used to preserve your legacy and pass your belongings onto your loved ones, they also have major legal differences. Both are flexible options, however a living trust often times provides more protection to you, your family and your assets.
If probate avoidance and incapacity planning are important to you, you should consider a living trust. Before you decide, it’s always best to schedule an initial consultation with a trust attorney. They can help advice you as to what plan would be best for your situation based on your unique goals.
Author can be reached through rochesterlawcenter.com
About Author -Jim Turner is a USA based author of Legal issues related to estate planning, will & trust , business law and elder law .Jim Turner does his best writing on these topics that helps users to find the best solutions to their FAQ on estate planning , probate , living trust and more about legal family issues .
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