Wills and trusts are both time-tested methods of keeping your estate tidy after your death. When you create a will or a trust, you’re taking a step to ensuring your friends and family know what to do after you die, and you’re making sure that they receive whatever you’ve left behind for them.
But when it comes to estate planning, it can be confusing when you read into wills and trusts. You know that you want to make things a little easier for your loved ones after your death, but the two options seem so similar on the surface. Fortunately, as a trust lawyer from a firm like Yee Law Group, P.C. can explain, both will serve to preserve your legacy – just in different fashions.
It’s important to understand your options before you decide to start planning your estate. Read on to learn a little more about the difference between wills and trusts, and see how the right trust lawyer can help you plan out your estate and your future.
At its most basic definition, a will is a list of assets and beneficiaries. This means your will lists everything you’re leaving behind, and everyone you’d want to bequeath assets to after your death. When you create a will, you’re coming up with a list of everyone you think should receive a slice of your pie. However, there’s always the chance for legal battles.
A big problem with wills is that there is plenty of opportunity for people to argue and contest the contents. Do you have any estranged family members? What about bitter exes? If they lawyer up, they can fight against the rightful beneficiaries to take what isn’t there, even though the will provides instructions that you left behind.
Another issue with wills is probate. Probate is the legal term for the process through which a will is executed. Probate is a nightmare, involving many steps from authenticating the will to paying off debts and tracking down and valuing assets. Probate takes months, and at every step there’s a new opportunity for something to go wrong or someone to argue.
Can you trust your family and friends to accept the instructions you’ve left behind? Do you think they’ll cooperate after your death, or will they be at each other’s throats? If you want to avoid putting them through unnecessary drama, you can create a living trust instead.
About Living Trusts
Living trusts are similar to wills: They’re a collection of assets and a list of beneficiaries who will receive whatever you’re leaving behind. However, there are some key differences with a living trust that make them a little more appealing than wills.
When you create a living trust, you’re actually naming a third party to handle your estate when you die. A trust means there’s no probate, which cuts out a lot of openings for legal action. Additionally, trusts are uncontestable. Your beneficiaries can’t argue about the contents of a trust, and it makes the entire process much more streamlined when it’s time to distribute assets.
Trusts require a bit more of a hands-on approach, and it takes a lot more effort to manage a trust. Fortunately, a trust lawyer can help you administer your trust and make life a lot easier for you and your loved ones. Get in touch with a trust lawyer today to get started.