What is the difference between a will and a trust?
Having a will means that you, not the state, decide how you want your financial affairs handled after you pass.
A will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and for your loved ones, to protect them and your assets.
A living trust is a plan for managing your property during your life and after you pass. You appoint a successor who can manage your property not only in case of your passing, but also if you should become incapacitated, say through an accident or illness. Many clients find a living trust a powerful but simple tool to avoid costly, complicated court intervention.
A professionally prepared estate plan can help you avoid:
Probate. Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person’s estate, or property, is distributed to heirs and designated beneficiaries. The probate process can be long and costly, taking months and sometimes years to resolve. The longer it takes, the more costs accrue, leaving potential heirs with less than the deceased may have intended.
‘Do-it-yourself’ Pitfalls. Jumping online and filling out a standardized form to prepare a will or trust is a financial risk. As one of the most important financial-planning documents of your life, it is better left to a professional. Otherwise, survivors can be caught in costly, time-consuming court battles to contest an unlawful, poorly drafted, or vague will.