Often, when considering estate planning and how to protect assets and property for the future, questions arise about the differences between a will and a Living Trust. Both are vital legal instruments to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled and your loved ones are protected, but there are fundamental differences between them. Surely, at some point in your life, you have asked yourself: Will or Living Trust? It’s time to understand the differences.
What is a will?
It is a legal document that specifies how your assets will be distributed after your death. It is valid only after your death and goes through a legal process called “probate,” where a court validates and executes the provisions of the will. This means there may be costs and time associated with the probate process, and your assets will be subject to court supervision.
What is a Living Trust?
It is a tool that allows you to transfer the ownership of your assets to a trust while you are still alive. You can be the trustee (administrator) and the primary beneficiary while you are alive. After your death, the trust becomes irrevocable, and a designated successor or beneficiary receives the assets, avoiding the probate process. This implies that asset transfer occurs privately and efficiently, without court intervention.
The main difference lies in the process of asset and property distribution. While a will is activated after death and goes through probate, a Living Trust avoids this procedure, providing a faster and more discreet distribution of assets.
The choice between a will or a living trust depends on your specific goals and circumstances. A will may suffice for some, but those looking to avoid costs and delays associated with the probate process may opt for a Living Trust.
To make a decision that suits your needs, my team and I can provide you with the appropriate guidance. Click here, and we will get in touch.