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What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

A will and revocable trust are similar in that they both allow you to specify exactly how you want your property distributed to your heirs after you pass away. However, there are major differences that everyone should know, the following being the most important:

  • Your last will and testament directs probate assets to specific heirs throught the probate process;
  • While the revocable living trust directs trust assets to specific beneficiaries without the necessity of probate in the first place.

When creating your estate plan, you should consider whether you want a will based estate plan or a trust based estate plan. The general rules for these types of plans are as follows:

  • A will based estate plan is good for:
    • people who want to spend as little money as possible at this point in time;
    • people with fewer assets;
    • people with very simple estates;
    • people who do not care as much about avoiding probate for their heirs.
  • A trust based estate plan is best for:
    • More complicated estates;
    • People with more assets;
    • People want to spend more money to help save their children even more money;
    • People with land in other states;
    • People who want to save money and make things easier for their children.

If you want to learn more about wills and trusts, please feel free to attend one of our free monthly estate planning seminars where I will discuss probate, wills, trusts, incapacity planning and more. We promise that it will be worth your time!

 

D. Rep DeLoach III
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Estate Planning and Board Certified Elder Law Attorney
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