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Should I make a will or a trust?

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2018 | Trusts |

There are a lot of reasons to not leave your estate at the mercy of a will. One of the main reasons is that a will must generally undergo probate. Why avoid probate?

While not everything about probate is necessarily negative, there are some significant drawbacks to probate to consider. They include the following:

  • Probate is time-consuming
  • Probate is expensive and the courts charge for it
  • Probate can be exhausting and stressful to decedent’s survivors

There are many ways you can avoid probate. One such way is to use the instrument of the revocable trust, also known as a living trust. One of the main purposes for a revocable trust is, in fact, to avoid probate.

As noted by, a revocable trust can become more and more worthy, the more assets you have. In fact, it is less about the size of your assets than their amount and type.

Quicker ability to fulfill your wishes

By putting your assets into a living trust, when you die, the trustee you assigned to handle that trust has an immediate right to start handling it and distributing it as per your trust terms you previously decided on. It does not need to apply for and then wait for the busy probate court to get around to setting hearings and proceedings based on its own full schedule. Also, there are no probate fees to pay.

Other benefits to trusts

In addition to the avoidance of probate, there are other benefits to using the revocable trust avenue. They include the following:

  • Retaining your privacy
  • Protecting assets from some creditors
  • Placing conditions on inheritances

Keep your privacy

With regard to privacy, wills become part of a court process and so they lose the privacy factor. Trusts, on the other hand, are private documents that no one but you, your chosen trustee and your beneficiaries are privy to.

Protect assets from creditors

With your trust, you can include terms to your liking. Because the living trust becomes irrevocable when you die, many creditors will be unable to touch what is in the trust.

Place conditions on inheritances

Also, you have the ability to better control who inherits your assets. You can make conditions on when a beneficiary will receive anything under the will in ways unavailable in a will. These conditions extend even after you die.