What’s the difference and why do you need both?
Often clients ask, “If a Trust is more effective in transferring my assets, why do I need both?” A will and a Trust go hand-in-hand. We will explain below why you need both and how we can help.
The most important difference between a Will and a Trust is the distribution of your assets after you pass away. By having both a Will and a Trust, you can have all possible outcomes planned for. A Trust will avoid probate and anything that ends up in the Trust will transfer automatically to your beneficiaries upon your death. If anything falls through the cracks and ends up in probate, then a Will is necessary to save time and expenses.
What is a Will?
A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that sets forth your wishes and distribution of your assets upon death. Preferably, your assets would be set up to transfer on death either to particular people or to your Trust. In the event something does end up in probate, a properly drafted Will can make the process cheaper and easier. As a parent, your Will can also designate guardianship for minor children in the event of your death. Naming a guardian in your Will ensures that the court knows your desires for who would care for your children, a Trust cannot do this.
What is a Trust?
Creating a Trust forms a separate legal entity and fiduciary relationship. A Trust gives you the power to outline specific rules or conditions for how your assets will be distributed. For example, if parents want children to inherit income only at certain times, these wishes can be accomplished through a Trust. A Trust can also include provisions to care for your estate in the event you are incapacitated.
There are many different types of Trusts and Wills. It can be confusing and a little overwhelming but we can help you sort it out and make the best plan for your situation. Planning how to pass your assets on after death can feel uncomfortable to think about but planning your intentions is a gift to family and friends who will be going through an emotional and grieving time. By planning ahead, this can be one of the best gifts you can give to your loved ones and to yourself as you’ll gain peace of mind knowing that those you care about will be well looked after.