Hammonton estate planning: Difference between Wills and Living Trusts

You have spent your entire life accumulating wealth and assets. After you are gone, you would want your loved ones to inherit your properties. At the same time, it is wise to prep for certain possibilities, including incapacitation and illnesses. You should plan for your end-of-life care. There are numerous tools and documents that can be used to create an estate plan, and a Hammonton estate planning attorney can help you make the right decisions. For your help, we are sharing the differences between Wills and Living Trusts. 

The basics

A Will is a document that states your final wishes. It only comes into effect after your demise, and you can use your Will to determine who inherits your wishes. You can also name a guardian for your minor children and appoint an executor who will ensure that your Will is honored. Wills are public documents and have to go through probate, which is the step of ensuring the Will is valid. 

The second option is a Living Trust. You can transfer your assets and properties to the Living Trust and appoint a trustee to manage the assets for the designated beneficiaries. Trust documents are not made public, and there is no need for probate. 

Which of the two is better?

There is no one answer to that. A Living Trust does have a few advantages. Through a trust, you can work to preserve your assets for the future, given that the average life span of Americans has increased manifold. If you have a significant amount of wealth, you may benefit more from a Living Trust than a Will. However, everyone has a unique situation, and only an estate planning lawyer should advise you on the matter. 

What other documents you may need?

Besides Wills and Living Trusts, there are other estate planning documents that you may need. You may want to create a Living Will that will communicate your wishes with regard to long-term care if you are unable to make decisions. You can also consider a durable power of attorney for finance, which allows a person of your choice to handle financial matters if you are ill or incapacitated. 

Don’t step back from discussing the facts of your estate with an attorney. No matter your situation, if you own anything, you need an estate plan. You need an attorney who can advise you on key estate planning tools and documents.

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