If you’ve taken any steps towards planning your future, you may have considered reaching out to a will attorney to clear up some questions. Many people may know about wills, and if they’re trying to make sure their family and friends are taken care of after their death, it makes sense to plan a little by looking over the requirements and necessary documents for estate planning.
If you’ve looked into wills, you may have also heard about trusts, and whenever you learn a little more about estate planning, you’ll notice that you usually end up with more questions than when you started. It can be a challenge to plan out your own estate when there are many different options to choose from: Read on to learn more about the difference between wills and trusts, and see which may be best for you.
Wills vs. Trusts: What’s the Difference?
Wills and trusts are similar yet different, and a will attorney can help you decide which is best for you. Because wills are usually the most well-known, we’ll start by examining what a will entails, and what it means for your family and friends if you leave a will behind after your death.
Wills are lists of assets and beneficiaries. They outline what you had when you died (including real estate, investments, and debt) and they detail who should receive any of your assets after your death. Wills can be relatively straightforward, but when it finally comes time to divide up your estate across your beneficiaries, things become much more complicated. When you leave behind a will, you’re leaving behind instructions – but you’re also putting your beneficiaries through probate.
Probate is the process through which all of your assets and debts are finally split up and given to each beneficiary, but it’s a lengthy process that requires outside specialists, the involvement of a court, and the potential for dispute and disruption at every step. If you have a vindictive ex-spouse or estranged family members, they can all force their way into the process and seriously delay probate. It can be frustrating and time-consuming for everyone involved.
In short, a will is relatively simple to set up, but it’s typically more challenging when it comes to execution. Trusts, on the other hand, are the opposite.
A living trust (also referred to as a trust) involves naming a third party to handle your estate after your death. When you create a trust, you’re also taking a big step to ensure the division of your estate goes smoothly. Establishing a trust means no probate, which means the contents of your trust can’t be disputed. In terms of execution, a trust means much less drama across the board for your family and friends – but your trust will take a bit of active management during your lifetime.
Trusts take a little bit more work than wills. They are usually more on the pricier side, and they can be complicated to set up. While it’s possible to establish your own living trust, it’s always wiser to contact a will and trust attorney who can walk you through the process to ensure your trust is legally binding.
Contact W.B. Moore Law Today
Trusts and wills are both effective ways of planning for your future, and the attorneys at W.B. Moore Law are happy to help. Reach out to a will attorney today to learn more about how trusts and wills can affect your estate.