Wills, Living Trusts… What’s the Difference?


 By JM Megail Gaumer

A will though a commonly used planning tool may not be the best plan for you and your family. A will ensures that your estate must go through the probate process at your death.

So what is wrong with probate?

  • First, probate can be expensive, legal fees, executor fees and other associated costs which are set based on state and local laws but can range widely.

  • Second, it can be timely, generally from nine to twenty-four months, but often times longer. Usually assets in your estate will be frozen and cannot be distributed or sold until the court has approved a final accounting and inventory.

  • Third, probate is public, any interested party is able to see what you had when you died not to mention who and how much you owe.

A will also provides no protection for you should you become mentally or physically incapacitated. Probate court would step in and name a guardian to control your assets while you are living.

A Living Trust is a document much like a will, but different with respect to the amount of control and authority. Your trust not only allows you to instruct what should happen with your assets at your death, it also provides for you to name someone to handle your assets, rather than a court appointed guardian should you become incapacitated.

Call us today at 800-798-5297 to schedule your free consultation to better understand your circumstances and what’s best for you and your loved ones.

IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).


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