If you want to have a say in what happens to your assets when you die, you should consider working with a attorney in Raleigh NC to create an estate plan. It can include a will or a living trust. Both will outline who gets your assets when you are gone. The difference is that a living trust avoids the probate process, which is when the court decides if your will is a valid document to be accepted and administered.
Differences in Wills and Living Trusts | Attorney in Raleigh NC
There is more to both a will and a living trust, so let’s take a look at each one a little more closely.
- A will can do the following:
- Name beneficiaries for your assets, which is the main purpose of both a will and living trust.
- Name an executor of your estate.
- Explain how your taxes and debts should be paid.
- Name guardians for your children and property managers for what they inherit from you if they are under 18 years of age.
- It can be revised, and it is fairly simple to write but it requires witnesses.
A living trust allows you to do everything above, but your assets are placed into a trust while you are living. It also allows you to do the following:
- Avoid probate, as mentioned above.
- Allows your affairs to remain private rather than become public record.
- Gives you protection from court challenges. Although rare, there have been cases where a living trust or will has been challenged in court. When this occurs, a living trust is harder to contest.
- Help you avoid a conservatorship.
A living trust can be more complicated and cost more to create, but it allows for more protection of your assets. If you have children who stand to inherit your estate, a living trust will allow you to establish provisions instructing when they will be entitled to the assets held in trust. If you have a special needs child or other family member, you will be able to leave more specific instructions on how his or her inheritance should be handled.
While these two seem quite similar, there are differences that make a differences. To learn more about the differences, visit back with our next blog post. Our attorney in Raleigh NC will provide further details about each.
Eldreth and Eldreth | Attorney in Raleigh NC
Regardless of whether you're married, single, wealthy, childless or a parent, it's important for all adults to have an estate plan and the proper documents in place at the beginning of each year. If you're ready to begin planning your estate contact our attorney in Raleigh NC today.