Wills And Living Trusts: Which Is Better For You?
When creating an estate plan and comparing wills and living trusts, there are many options available to you. You could choose to create a will and have a power of attorney in place in case you become incapacitated. You may wish to create a living trust to hold your assets and help your loved ones avoid probate. The estate plan you develop will depend on your circumstances and your individual needs.
Understanding What Wills And Trusts Accomplish
A will is a document that becomes effective when you pass away. In this document, you can outline your wishes for your assets and appoint guardians for your children. By combining a will with other documents, such as a power of attorney or health care directive, you can maintain control over your estate and express your wishes concerning your health and your finances.
A living trust, also known as revocable trust, is an entity that holds your assets during your lifetime. You can still maintain control over the property during your life, if you name yourself as the trustee. You may also choose to create a sub-trust to provide protection and income for your children until they graduate from college, get married or reach a certain age.
Property that is in a trust does not have to go through probate and will not become part of the public record. This can help you maintain your privacy and the privacy of your beneficiaries.
A living trust only holds those assets that you transfer to it, however. This means that you will have to take an active role in maintaining your trust if you acquire property in the future. Otherwise, any property outside of the trust may need to go through probate.
Deciding whether to use a will or a living trust as part of your estate plan is a personal choice. It will depend largely on how active a role you want to take in maintaining your estate plan and other factors, including the number of heirs and whether you retain property outside the state. With a living trust, you will need to ensure that your assets are is transferred to the trust. A will does not require this level of maintenance but will need to be probated, which can take time and will create a public record of your assets and beneficiaries.
Contact Our Estate Planning Lawyers
To discuss your options, contact our estate planning law firm online or call us at 914-241-6300 or 212-682-1115. We are experienced at handling a wide range of estate issues, including planning, administration, will contests and other disputes. Our attorneys can answer your questions and help you develop a plan that meets your needs. We represent clients throughout Westchester County and surrounding counties, as well as in New York City from our office in Mount Kisco.