If you have ever dealt with estate planning before, it’s likely that you’ve heard the terms living trust and will before. These are often misunderstood legal concepts that each have very different implications. Each one helps with distributing property and assets after your death. However, the real difference between them lies in how the assets are distributed. A great estate planning lawyer will help you create either a living trust or will that is based on your personal wishes. There are several advantages and disadvantages to both a living trust and a will, so it’s important to fully understand the difference between the two before you finish the estate planning process.
A living trust will allow your estate to forego the probate process and get your assets and property to your family and loved ones as soon as possible. The probate process can be expensive and time-consuming. This can be extremely difficult for a grieving family to deal with. That’s why a big benefit of creating a living trust with your estate planning lawyer is that your family can avoid costs and delays associated with the probate process. Living trusts also can provide protection in the event of disability or incapacity. The major disadvantages associated with a living trust is that is is typically more expensive to set up than a regular will. You also need to re-title your assets with a living trust, which can be another step for family members to have to deal with.
Wills are great because they are simple to create and inexpensive. However, after you pass away, your property and assets will be distributed in the probate process. This can be very time consuming and expensive, especially if the estate is large. On the other hand, another big advantage of wills is that your assets won’t need to be re-titled. A will becomes a part of public record and also won’t allow you to manage or restrict inheritances if that’s what you are looking to do.
Both wills and living trusts are great options to consider during the estate planning process. Determining which option is best for you depends on a few things. Living trusts tend to be worth the money they cost to put together if you own real estate. The cost savings you get from avoiding the probate process are significant in many cases. A living trust also makes a lot of sense if you want to avoid giving a large inheritance to children or family members that aren’t ready for that responsibility. A will works for people that don’t have real estate and aren’t worried about their children mismanaging their inheritance. A lot comes down to personal preference as well.
If you have any questions about wills, living trusts, or the estate planning process, contact Derryberry & Associates LLP today. We can help you to better understand the estate planning process with our expert estate planning lawyers.