What is the difference between a Will and a Living Trust?

Wills and living trusts are both legal documents that can be created as part of an estate plan.

Everyone should have a Will, or Last Will and Testament

You want to make sure any assets or possession you leave behind, get passed on to the right people and/or organizations in the right way.

In your Will, you’ll name an executor to make sure your wishes are carried out after you pass.  Also, in your Will, you can designate guardians for minor children.  

When you have a living trust, you can be in full charge of your trust.  If you die or become incapacitated, your successor trustee can step in to handle your affairs as indicated in your trust.

And - you may be surprised to hear this - but once you die, your Will is not private. It is a public document that goes through the probate process and anyone can read it.

On the other hand, a living trust, also referred to as a revocable living trust, keeps the details of your estate private. And it does not require probate – the process by which a court makes sure your executor does his or her job correctly.

Like a Will, a living trust can be revoked or amended at any time provided you have the capacity to do so.

Also, keep in mind, a living trust is effective immediately, while a Will is made to lay out your wishes after you die.

And, while having a Will is essential to every estate plan, a living trust, depending on your circumstances, may or may not be appropriate to your estate plan.  

To discuss the right estate plan for you, please contact us

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What the Heck is a Living Trust?
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