Do you know the differences between “will” and “trust”? Both are useful estate planning devices that serve different purposes, and both can work together to create a complete estate plan.
- A will goes into effect only after you die
- A will only covers property that is in your name at your death
- A will passes through a court process called Probate. In Probate, the court oversees the will’s administration and ensures the will is valid and the property gets distributed the way the deceased wanted.
- Because a will passes through Probate, it’s a public record.
- A will allows you to name a guardian for children (Note: Our firm recommends that in addition to this, you use a stand alone guardian nomination.)
- A trust can be used to begin distributing property before death, at death or afterwards.
- A trust covers only property that has been transferred to the trust. In order for property to be included in a trust, it must be put in the name of the trust.
- A trust passes property outside of probate, so a court does not need to oversee the process, which can save time and money.
- A trust remains private Unlike a will, which becomes part of the public record, a trust can remain private.
Consult with a qualified attorney to advise you on how best to use a will and a trust in your estate plan.
This article is a service of the Law Firm of Myrna Serrano Setty, P.A. We don’t just draft documents, we guide our clients to help make things as easy as possible for themselves and their families in case of death or disability.