A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a legal document that outlines a person’s wishes regarding the distribution of their assets and the handling of their affairs after their death. Here are some key features of a will:
Distribution of assets: A will specifies how a person’s property, possessions, and financial assets should be distributed among beneficiaries upon their death.
Executor: The will appoints an executor who is responsible for carrying out the instructions outlined in the will, including the distribution of assets.
Guardianship: If the deceased person has minor children, the will can specify who will become their legal guardian.
Probate process: A will generally goes through the probate process, which is a court-supervised procedure to validate the will and ensure its instructions are followed.
A trust is a legal arrangement where a person (known as the settlor or grantor) transfers their assets to a trustee, who manages those assets on behalf of the beneficiaries. Here are some key features of a trust:
Asset management: A trust allows for the management of assets during a person’s lifetime and after their death. The trustee has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
Avoiding probate: Unlike a will, assets held in a trust generally do not go through the probate process. This can provide privacy and efficiency in the distribution of assets.
Flexibility: Trusts offer more flexibility in determining how and when assets are distributed to beneficiaries. They can also be used for specific purposes, such as charitable or educational trusts.
Living trust: A living trust is created during the settlor’s lifetime and can be revocable or irrevocable. It allows the settlor to retain control over the assets and make changes as needed.
In summary, a will primarily deals with the distribution of assets after death and involves the probate process, while a trust allows for the management and distribution of assets during a person’s lifetime and can help avoid probate. The choice between a will and a trust depends on individual circumstances, including the complexity of assets, desired level of control, and specific estate planning goals. For any questions, you can consult us to determine the most suitable option for your situation.