3 Differences Between a Living Trust and a Will
When you are ready to begin estate planning, it can be difficult to decide what type of will or trust is right for you. While speaking with your estate planning lawyer will give you the best information for your situation, it is important to understand some of the legal jargon you will be hearing. As an estate planning lawyer can explain, people are often confused about the difference between a will and a living trust. While the two have similarities, there are a few key differences that set them apart.
- When It Goes Into Effect
When you write a will, you are leaving instructions for what will happen to your assets upon your death. However, a living trust goes into effect while you are still alive. For example, in a living trust, all of your assets belong to the trust instead of you. This can allow the division of your assets to go more smoothly after your death because your entire estate is the property of the trust. You will have specific instructions and a higher level of control over the division of your assets.
- Level of Privacy
A will is a public document. Therefore, after your death, anyone who wants to see your will is privy to the information contained in it. If you want to avoid this, a living trust might be a better option for you. It offers a higher level of privacy for you and your relatives. This can help prevent people from taking advantage of the assets that you leave behind when you die.
- Time Consideration for Setting Up
Making a will is fairly straightforward. You go to a law office, speak with an estate planning attorney and write up a draft of how you want your assets divided. A living trust (or any trust) takes more time to build. You are moving assets into the trust over time, so there will be more visits to your lawyer’s office than there would be with a will. On the other hand, because you spend more time creating the trust, it is more likely to stand up in a court of law.
Estate planning can be an overwhelming task, but it does not have to be. With the right legal team on your side, you can learn what options are best for you and your family. The important thing is to have some type of plan for how your assets will be divided to protect your family’s future generations.