A considerable number of our clients often ask us if they should get a living trust or write down their Will. This is an excellent question for your attorney. But I will discuss my personal point of view on this subject.
Understanding the difference between a trust and a will is crucial.
Do you know what probate is?
Wikipedia defines probate as "a legal process through which the will of a deceased person is accepted and handled by a court. The probate process includes confirming that the will, paying the dead person's debts, and distributing the deceased person's money and property as directed by the will"
In other words, the court decides how to execute your "Will". So, having a Will is not sufficient.
So, why should you consider a "living trust"?
To avoid costly probate (court process)
Ok, got it.
So, should I only have a "living trust"?
A living trust cannot name an executor or a guardian for your dependents kids.
You really need both of them. Trust and a Will.
Basically, will takes effect after someone dies but a living trust takes effect right away.
Let's take a close look at a Will
Do Note that you should update your living trust every few years, especially when there is major change like a marriage, divorce or have children.
There is a lot more to this story but I covered some important points here.
We can recommend an attorney who can help you draft all these documents properly. Give us a call if you need some help with this. Ask for a referral to an Estate Planning Attorney.