When it comes to estate planning, two of the most commonly used documents are wills and trusts. While both are essential for protecting assets and ensuring that your wishes for your property are followed after you pass away, there are some key differences between them. Let’s take a look at what a will and a trust can do for you.
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away. It also names an executor who will ensure that your wishes are carried out. Generally speaking, when someone dies without leaving a will, the state will decide who gets their assets and how they should be divided up—which may not be in accordance with the deceased's wishes.
What is a Trust?
A trust is more complex than a will; it allows you to manage your assets while you're still alive, as well as after your death. A trust can be created to protect assets from creditors or provide income to beneficiaries over time. It can also help reduce taxes or provide financial security for minors or disabled individuals. In addition, trusts can help ensure that certain items—such as artwork or valuable collections—are preserved for future generations.
The Difference Between Wills and Trusts
The main difference between wills and trusts is that wills only become active after death, while trusts become active immediately upon signing them. Also, wills must go through the probate process in order to be enforced; this means that all of the details of the will must be validated by the court system before any assets can be distributed according to its terms. On the other hand, since trusts do not need court approval, they often save time and money by avoiding this process altogether.
Wills and trusts are both essential tools for estate planning; each serves its own purpose depending on what you need from an estate plan. It’s important to understand these differences when choosing which option is best for your situation so that you can make sure that your wishes are met after you pass away. Working with an experienced attorney or financial planner can help ensure that all of your needs are taken into account when crafting either a will or trust plan tailored specifically to you and your situation - reach out to High Sierra Legal today to get started. Looking for a more affordable option? Check out our Your Estate Plan package!