When it comes time to create a comprehensive estate plan, you can take a variety of steps toward a better future.
At some point, you’ll be faced with this question: is it better to create a trust or will? It can be a challenge to decide, but in the end you must be confident in the decision you make.
Before we go any further, it’s important to note that there are pros and cons associated with both types of legal documents. Here are a few basic points to consider:
- It typically costs less money to create a will.
- It is more time efficient to create a will.
- A will has no effect on your property while you are living.
These are not the only details to think about when comparing a trust and will, but they will definitely get you thinking about what to do in the near future.
Is Probate a Concern?
Are you concerned that your assets will go through probate upon your death? Are you worried that this will cost your family both time and money?
This is one area in which you are better off choosing a trust. With a will, all of your assets are subject to the probate process. There is no way around this.
Conversely, if you opt for a trust, probate can be avoided. This shortens the time that it takes for your assets to be passed along to your heirs.
Are you a private person? Are you worried that others will learn too much about your personal life once you are gone?
A trust does not become part of the public record. This means that your estate can be distributed in private.
The same cannot be said for a will, as everything associated with it becomes public record.
So, if you’re concerned about matters of privacy, you should turn your attention to a trust. If you opt for a will, the transactions associated with this legal document can be reviewed by anyone with an interest.
There are many people out there who believe that nothing bad will ever happen to them. They don’t realize they could become extremely ill in the future. They don’t realize they could be injured in a serious accident.
This is a mistake.
While you hope to avoid trouble in the future, you never know if you will become incapacitated.
With a trust, your trustee can step in during this time to manage your affairs. Best yet, they don’t need the permission of the court in order to do so.
With a will, you don’t gain this peace of mind.
Questions to Answer
At this point, you realize there are some major differences between a trust and a will. You also realize that you need to make a final decision at some point. As you attempt to do so, here are some of the most important questions to address:
- Are you okay with the idea that it costs more money upfront to create a trust?
- Do you realize what the probate process entails, and how the use of a trust can help your loved ones avoid this?
- Are you familiar with the many steps associated with creating both types of legal documents?
These are not the only questions to answer, but they can put you in a better place as you decide what to do next.
You never want to create a trust or will until you know exactly what you are doing. Going down the wrong path isn’t the end of the world, as you can always make a change in the future, but it could cost you some time and money.
At our law firm, we’ve helped thousands of people create a trust or will that suits their every estate planning requirement.
We can answer your questions, provide you with professional advice, and walk you through the process from start to finish.
Contact us today to setup a consultation. Once you meet with our team, you’ll feel better about your current situation and your ability to create the right type of estate plan.
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