Will vs. Trusts: The Differences and How Your Attorney Can Help
A last will and testament and a trust are considered essential elements of a comprehensive estate plan and while these documents have a lot of overlap, there are also several differences between the two.
A will is a legally enforceable document that states how you want your affairs handled and assets distributed after you die. Wills offer somewhat limited control over the distribution of assets and they also most likely have to go through some sort of probate process after you pass away.
- Allow you to name guardians for kids and pets
- Designates where your assets go
- Specifies any final arrangements
A trust is another method of estate transfer. It creates a fiduciary relationship in which you give another party authority to handle your assets for the benefit of your beneficiaries. Trusts have one major benefit over wills – they are the surest way to avoid probate. There are also several kinds of trusts including living trusts and revocable.
- Offer greater control over when and how your assets are distributed
- Apply to any assets you hold inside the trust
- Come in many different forms and types
Which Do I Need?
When it comes to wills and trusts it is important to keep in mind that they have very different and specific benefits. One option is not “better” than the other. In order to decide which is the best option for you, you should start by assessing your situation, your goals, and your needs. You also have the option of having both a will and a trust because they do two different things.
A key difference is that your last will and testament goes into effect after death while a living trust goes into effect as soon as it’s signed. You can change your will or your revocable living trust right up until the time of your death as long as you remain mentally competent. An attorney will be able to assist you in deciding which route to go.
We can help navigate you through the creation of your will and/or trust to help you prepare for the future. Wills, probate law, and situations surrounding wills can be complicated. Our attorneys are here to take all the right measures to minimize the risk of having your will invalidated.
At Wood | Sanchez Law, our experienced attorneys can assist you with estate planning, probate, wills, trusts, and other family law matters. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the estate planning process. We serve those in The Woodlands, Fort Worth, TX, and the surrounding communities.