So many families admit they’ve put off talking about their estate planning for far too long. They are eager to finally set up that long-overdue will, but they’ve also heard about trusts and how they play a critical role in protecting their assets, loved ones, and legacy. So which one is right for them? Is there a difference between a will and a trust?
The attorneys at Christman Ramsey & Foster, PC realize that while there are a variety of legal instruments designed to cover all of your bases, it can be confusing knowing which one checks all the appropriate boxes when it comes to your final wishes.
This blog post will dive into the differences between a will and a trust and why having both instruments might be your best bet.
A will vs. a trust
A will is a legal document that lays out your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets after death. Think of it as a very specific list of instructions, where you get to dictate who gets what, when, where, and even how much. Perhaps it’s a priceless family heirloom that you’d like your daughter to have or a specific amount of money that you want earmarked for your grandchildren. It could also be a vehicle, property, or money that you want donated to a specific charity.
You can and should include as many details as possible in your will because the amount of control you have is vast.
A typical will includes:
- How your assets should be distributed
- Who gets what and how much
- Details for final arrangements
- Who should care for your minor children and pets
- Who is in charge (executor) of making sure all of this happens
A trust is also designed to let you decide exactly how you want your property divided. Then transferred to your chosen beneficiaries. But unlike a will that only takes effect when you die, a trust can be created and managed during your lifetime. This is huge in that it allows you the ability to account for disability and incapacitation — not just death.
Granted, the intricacies of a trust are a bit more complicated than a will, but additional benefits include:
- The ability to name a successor trustee
- Flexibility in trust type to meet your unique needs (Living, Revocable, etc.)
Is a will or a trust better for me?
Everyone’s circumstances are different. Therefore, proper estate planning for your unique needs could involve much more than writing a will. We are here to help you put together an estate plan that goes beyond the will with a trust, health care directives, powers of attorney, and various other documents that, when working together, cover all of your bases now and into the future. Our attorneys will help you create legal instruments to distribute your assets according to your wishes, nominate a guardian for minor children, minimize family disputes, avoid probate and estate administration, and plan for incapacity.
Start planning for the future today and protecting your family’s assets with the help of our trusted estate planning attorneys. Our team is dedicated to creating peace of mind for our clients and their loved ones.
Please call Christman Ramsey & Foster, PC, for your legal needs today!
Please consult an attorney for advice about your situation. The material on this website and in this or any blog article we publish are for informational purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice. The attorneys at Christman, Ramsey & Foster, PC believe in tailoring legal advice and solutions to your circumstances.
We have an unwavering commitment to helping our clients at each stage of their legal situation.