It is my credible opinion that you should have both a will and a living revocable trust.

Should I Have a Will or a Trust?

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A Will And A Trust? Or Should You Have Both Wills And Trusts?

It is my credible opinion that you should have both a will and a living revocable trust.

Will Vs.Trust:

Most People Have the Same Questions About Estate Planning. What Is the Difference Between a Will and A Trust? Should You Have Both Wills and Trusts? Moreover, having both a will and trust is essential when protecting your loved ones.

Steve Bliss with a will and a trust documents on a justice scale.

A will lays out your wishes for after you die. A living revocable trust becomes effective immediately. While you are alive, you can be in complete charge of your trust. Consequently, when you become incapacitated or die, the person you appoint as the successor trustee can easily step in and handle your affairs precisely as you have laid out in the document.

I passionately believe you should have both a will and a living revocable trust.

Why you need trust: There are many types of trusts. A living revocable trust is the right trust for most property owners and people with life insurance.

Living Revocable Trust – Defined, One Word at a time:

Living: A trust is effective during your lifetime.

Revocable: Everything you state in the trust can be changed. At any time. That’s what revocable means. This is a legal document that you can change as your life changes.

Trust: Once you create a trust, you can move the ownership of critical assets – such as a home and other property – into the trust and appoint yourself as the trustee, meaning you call all the shots on how to use and manage those assets while you are alive. You also appoint someone to be your successor trustee. If you become incapacitated, the successor trustee can step in quickly and manage your affairs. Nonetheless, when you die, the successor trustee takes over without the need to get any court approval.

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To establish a trust, you first create it and then designate your various assets (retirement accounts, bank accounts, homes, cars, life insurance, etc.) to be transferred to the trust upon your death. Alternatively, you could transfer assets to the trust. At the same time, you live to facilitate managing the assets if you were to become disabled or incapacitated. Moreover, after your death, the trustee you’ve chosen will gather your assets and distribute them (or the proceeds of their sale) to the beneficiaries named in your trust. There is no waiting period in trust administration, which means that your heirs have much faster access to the funds you’ve left them.

It is essential to understand that if you only have a will, when you die, your family may have to go through a lengthy Probate Court Process to have the right to follow what you laid out in your will. This is called ”Probate.” In addition to being time-consuming and costly (you likely will need to hire a probate lawyer), it is also public. When you die with only a will, that document must be filed with the court and accessed by anyone.

Accordingly, another advantage of a trust is that it gives you more control over the distribution of your assets than a will does. With a will, if the person to inherit property is a minor, the probate court must name a conservator to manage the money until the minor reaches 18. In addition, the probate court supervises all distributions of money for that minor’s health, education, maintenance, and support, such as living expenses, school tuition, and orthodontia. The court can also exercise its judgment to disallow any expenditure. But with a trust, you can appoint a trustee who will make all spending decisions for minors according to your wishes. You can specify the age at which a given beneficiary can take control of their inheritance. You can even create a lifetime trust for your heirs, providing some creditor protection and other benefits to safeguard their legacy.

Smaller estates may avoid probate if the deceased only had a will, but the cut-off for what amount qualifies for “simplified” probate is low in most states. The surest way to avoid probate is to have trust. A living revocable trust does not need court approval. Everything stays private, and your successor trustee can take over its management immediately upon your death.

Moreover, unlike the terms of a will, the terms of a trust are private. Probate proceedings and documents are public records, meaning that anyone can read the terms of your will or the circumstances of its administration. But because a trust is a contract, the distribution and terms of your estate are private. The details are not accessible by the public, including the nature and amount of your property or the identity of your beneficiaries.

Why you need a will: As crucial as a trust is, you also want to have a will.

While your big-ticket assets, such as a home, should be owned by your trust, you likely have other smaller keepsakes – a china collection, watches, or similar items; that you want to give to a specific person. A will is where you spell this out.

A will is also where you can write down your funeral wishes.

Notwithstanding, it’s crucial to create a will if you have young children. A will is where you appoint a guardian for minor children. I realize that this can be upsetting, but let’s talk about something even more disconcerting. If you die without a will that establishes your children’s guardians, decisions about the care of your kids are going to fall to the court system. That’s what happens when parents die without a legal guardian ready to step in. Sure, a sibling, cousin, or dear friend might be the guardian, but only after a draining court process and potentially ongoing court oversight.

You love your family more than anything; therefore, having both a will and a trust is a powerful way you show your love. It will save your family time and money. And the heartache of disputes if you were to die and not leave clear instructions on who is to get what. When properly created and funded, a trust is usually an easier, faster, and less expensive way to pass your assets to your beneficiaries, especially if minor children are involved.