Many people think writing a will or planning to leave your assets to your loved ones is done later in life. However, life is unpredictable, and ensuring an organized way for your assets to be distributed behind you is essential. It helps protect your loved ones and also eliminates any potential disputes. Two popular estate planning tools that individuals often consider are wills and trusts. While both serve a similar purpose, there are distinct differences between the two.
In this blog, we will look at the differences between a will and trust and make recommendations on which one you should opt for.
Major Differences Between a Will and a Trust
Both wills and trusts are estate planning tools that help a person leave behind their assets in an organized manner for their loved ones. However, there are a few differences between the two legal methods.
A will is a straightforward legal document that outlines what a person has left behind and who are the beneficiaries that will inherit the specific assets. Upon your death, your will goes through a legal process called probate. This involves validating the will via public records, paying debts and taxes, and distributing assets according to your instructions.
A trust is a legal arrangement that allows a trustee to manage assets to benefit beneficiaries. Since a trustee manages the assets, a trust does not need to go through probate. This means your assets can be distributed privately without court intervention. Trusts can help you maintain confidentiality and avoid potential challenges to your estate. A trust goes into effect while you are alive; therefore, you can make modifications to it according to your wishes.
Will or Trust— Which One Should You Go For?
Both estate planning tools have pros and cons but are essential for your future. A will is easier to set up; however, it might be more expensive due to the incurred fee of the probate process.
On the other hand, a trust avoids the probate process, and since its details are not public, it avoids any challenges to the estate. However, setting up a trust is a long and complicated process that involves transferring your assets to a trust. All the deeds to your real estate assets or vehicle have to be reissued in the name of the trust. Therefore, a will is quite straightforward in comparison.
Whether you should opt for a will or trust is based entirely on your assets and priorities. If you are worried about any potential challenges to your estate, then a trust is the way to go. However, many wills and trusts attorneys believe that having both a will and trust can ensure the organized distribution of your estate.
Both wills and trusts offer valuable benefits in estate planning. It is crucial to consult with an experienced wills, trusts, and probates lawyer who can assess your situation and guide you in making the right choice. By carefully considering your goals, assets, and concerns, you can create a comprehensive plan that ensures your wishes are respected.
If you are looking for credible and dedicated wills and trust lawyers in Chico, California, Marquez Law Office has just the team you are looking for. We support our clients in every step of estate planning and ensure that the client’s will and trusts are according to their demands. We also assist with the probate process once the client passes away. Contact us now to learn more about our estate planning services.