Estate planning is an important part of making sure that your assets are passed on to the people you care about in the event of your death. A will and a living trust are two common tools used for estate planning. But what’s the difference between them, and which one is right for you? Let’s explore the differences between a living trust vs will.
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document that outlines how you would like your assets to be distributed after your death. It can also designate guardianship or conservatorship for any minor children or dependents you may have. A will must be formally signed, witnessed, and notarized in order to be valid. After it’s been written, it must be filed with the appropriate probate court before it can take effect. This process can take several months, so it’s important to make sure that your will is up-to-date at all times since any changes made after death can’t be legally enforced.
What is a Living Trust?
A living trust, also known as an inter vivos trust, is an estate planning tool used to manage property during one’s life and distribute it upon death without going through probate court proceedings. Unlike a will, this type of trust does not have to go through probate court when it takes effect; instead, it goes directly into operation when it’s created by its maker (the grantor). This makes the distribution of assets much faster than with a will—in some cases, as fast as six weeks. It also allows for more privacy since there isn’t a public record of who receives what from the trust like there would be with a will.
Which One Is Right For Me?
Choosing between using a livings trust vs will comes down to personal preference and circumstances. If you want your wishes regarding who should receive what from your estate to remain private or if you want the transfer of assets to happen quickly without going through probate court proceedings, then a living trust may be right for you. On the other hand, if you don’t mind waiting for the probate process or prefer having specific instructions outlined in your will regarding guardianships or conservatorships for minor children or dependents then creating a written last testament (will) may be best for you.
Conclusion: Deciding which estate planning tool to use — whether it’s living trusts vs wills — depends on what works best for you and your particular situation. A qualified attorney can help walk you through both types of documents so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best suited for your needs and goals when it comes time create an estate plan.
No matter which route you choose, having some form of estate plan in place is essential so that your assets are handled according to your wishes after death instead of being left up in the air or subject to state laws governing intestacy (dying without leaving behind any form of estate plan). Once set up properly, these documents should provide peace of mind knowing that everything has been taken care of should something happen unexpectedly while giving loved ones assurance they they’ll always know how their inheritance should be handled according to their benefactor’s wishes–no matter what life throws at them!