If you’re thinking about estate planning, you’ve likely heard the words “Will” and “Trust,” but do you know what they mean? Do you know which plan will best safeguard your family and valuables? Everything regarding Wills and Trusts in Estate Planning will be explained in this article, from minor details to important distinctions.
1. Distribution And Control Of Assets
You can specify how funds are to be used in both a Will and a Trust. A trust deals with the management of your possessions and money, whereas a will deals with asset distribution after your passing. More specifically, a Trustee is given ownership of the asset and is responsible for managing it for the beneficiary.
After your death, your Will must undergo the probate process, while a Trust does not. Therefore, having a Trust will save time and money. It also ensures that the information included in a Will remains private, with the exception of when it is registered with the Trust Registration Service, where information is required.
Wills, on the other hand, are subject to legal dispute because they are made a part of the public record. A Trust can also ensure tax savings and account for disability and incapacity before your death. Hence, it is crucial that you create a Living Trust so that your family may avoid the harrowing probate process after your passing.
3. Price and Paperwork
Trusts are typically more expensive to draft upfront than Wills because they can be complicated and necessitate more paperwork to establish. However, the cost of establishing a Living Trust may be mitigated by avoiding probate in the future.
After the formal paperwork is completed, an estate planning lawyer frequently offers guidance on how to finance the Trust and choose the appropriate beneficiaries for each asset category. Living trusts should be updated as regularly as possible, especially when a big life change occurs.
4. A Practical Point Of View
Practically speaking, the implications of Wills and Trusts are significantly different. When a bequest is made “absolutely” in a Will, the reader is informed that the bequest is not subject to the control of anyone other than the beneficiary.
They are free to dispose of the asset or do anything they choose with it. However, if the Will specifies that the asset will be held in Trust, for example, if a house is held in Trust for a partner, that partner is not free to demolish or sell the house.
Will Or Trust? Or Both?
Wills and Trusts are typically not viewed as either/or options when discussing estate planning. A Will might be a less expensive option and the most practical choice for small estates with easily transferable assets and straightforward bequests.
However, a Trust without a Will can cause issues when it comes to assets outside the Trust that become governed by intestacy rules. Using both forms may be beneficial for larger and more complicated estates.
It is typically a good idea to establish a Will even if the majority of your possessions are held in ways that prevent probate. While your estate will go through the probate process, if you have a well-written Will, the cost could be less than creating and maintaining a Trust.
For people with resources and those who are worried about privacy, Trust and a Will can be a good option. These two operate together to eliminate intestacy with connection to estate property whose distribution is not governed by a Trustee or any other arrangement. They both enable quick asset transfers and maintain confidentiality concerning sensitive assets and directives.
Any property that does not transfer automatically, like real estate held in Trust or retirement funds with named beneficiaries, can be distributed according to a Will. It may also contain provisions for late transferred assets that were directly purchased.
In rare circumstances, a pour-over will might establish a testamentary Trust to keep and oversee assets for the benefit of chosen heirs, such as children of minor age until they become adults. With a Will, the estate can avoid intestacy and potentially expensive and contentious legal actions to choose an estate administrator, distribute your remaining assets, and choose who will take care of your debts and obligations.
The type and valuation of your assets, the age and capacity of your heirs, the complexity of your bequests, tax planning implications, and your option to use a Will, Trust, or both should all be taken into account during estate planning. In the end, careful estate planning is crucial to preserve the value of your assets and achieve the benefits that you planned for your descendants.
Can A Person Have Both A Will And A Living Trust?
Yes, you are allowed to have both a Will and a Living Trust since they serve two distinct purposes. Trusts manage and distribute your assets both during your life and after you pass away.
In contrast, a Will enables you to make decisions like designating caretakers for your children, selecting an executor to handle your estate, and expressing your final wishes. In order to have the most efficient and complete estate plan, it is important to understand the type of Will to have with a Living Trust.
Let’s assume that you have a Living Trust in addition to the last Will. Here are some reasons why this isn’t necessarily advised:
- Your last Will and Testament assets will probably need to go through a lengthy probate procedure.
- It is also worth noting that the last Wills and testaments are open records.
- In contrast, a trust’s assets are normally shielded from the probate court.
Every adult should, at least once in their lifetime, think about what they want to happen to their estate after they pass away. One of the best things you can do for your loved ones is to leave them specific directions regarding your legacy. Your assets and possessions can go where you want them to go if you employ Wills, Trusts, or both.