Understanding the Difference Between Wills and Trusts

Yee Law Group Inc. > Understanding the Difference Between Wills and Trusts

When you spend time planning your estate, you hear a lot about wills and living trusts. You might have a vague idea about the importance of these estate planning tools: If you die without a will, you’re setting your family up for a lot of unnecessary drama and infighting.

But, as a Sacramento trust lawyer from a firm like Yee Law Group, P.C. can explain, not many people are familiar with the inner workings of wills and trusts. Planning your estate is an important process with a lot of moving parts, and it’s important to learn all you can about your options before you choose what works best for your situation.

Read on to learn more about wills and trusts, and see how a qualified trust lawyer can help you decide what’s best for you and your loved ones.

The Pros and Cons of Wills

Dying without leaving behind a will sets your family up for a nightmare. Dying and leaving behind a will sets your family up for a slightly better nightmare. If you die without a will of any kind, a court will select a representative to hand out your assets as they see fit. This is fine if the court chooses someone you trust, but as you may know, no family is perfect. Do you really want creepy Uncle Bob or your evil twin brother in charge of distributing your assets after you die?

One of the main pros of a will is the peace of mind you’ll get. When you create a will, you can choose a trusted individual to act as the executor. This is the person who’ll be overseeing the distribution of all your assets and carrying out your last wishes after your death. Leaving behind a will means you’re leaving behind instructions for someone you can count on.

Of course, a will isn’t perfect. A will means probate, which is the complicated legal process through which your assets are distributed. Probate takes many steps, and at each step disgruntled family, friends, and acquaintances can challenge the instructions you’ve left behind to delay your last wishes and even take what’s not theirs.

On the plus side, a will is pretty open and shut for you. You work with an attorney to draft up a will, and then you don’t worry about it. It’s easy on you, but not necessarily on your family and friends after your death. On the other hand, you could always create a trust.

The Pros and Cons of Living Trusts

Trusts (commonly called “living trusts”) act similarly to wills, but the execution is a little different. When you create a living trust, you’re trusting a third party to handle your estate after your death. And when you create a living trust, you don’t ignore it. A trust requires active management, and you’ll have to update it when you add or remove assets from the trust.

While a trust means more work for you, it means less work for your family and friends after your death. If you leave behind a trust, it’s very difficult for disgruntled parties to dispute it. Trusts are uncontestable, and they also avoid probate completely. A trust is an appealing option for those who want to make life a little smoother for their family and friends after their death, but it will require management while they’re still alive.

Get in Touch with a Trust Lawyer Today

When you decide to start planning your future, you’ll want solid legal guidance. Fortunately, a trust lawyer can walk you through your estate planning options. When you get in touch with a trust lawyer, you’re reaching out to a qualified legal resource who can answer any questions you might have about wills, trusts, and more. Contact a trust lawyer today.