While working on your estate planning, you may consider a number of documents, including a revocable living trust and a will. Are you confused about the differences and similarities between these two legal documents?
Take a look at some of the information below to learn a little more about each document. You will find that both documents are extremely beneficial estate planning tools.
What does a will allow you to do?
A will allows you to do three main things. You’re able to decide how your assets will be distributed to the beneficiaries of your choice after your death. You’re also able to appoint an executor who will be responsible for handling your estate’s affairs and managing and distributing your assets. Additionally, you’re able to appoint a guardian for the care of your minor children. During your lifetime, you’re able to make changes to your will so long as you’re well.
Here’s a breakdown of some important things that set this document apart from a revocable living trust:
- A will is a document that becomes effective after your death
- A will’s assets are subject to the process of probate. This very public process can be extremely costly and timely.
- A will is not able to be used during your lifetime.
What does a revocable living trust allow you to do?
Similarly to a will, a revocable living trust allows you to choose how some of your assets will be distributed after your death. With this trust, you hold certain assets in your trust and determine how they will be distributed to your beneficiaries. This trust can be changed at any time you are alive and well.
A revocable living trust is used after your death and or during your lifetime. You will name a successor trustee to manage your trust’s affairs after your death.
Here’s a breakdown of some important things that set this document a part from a will:
- You’re unable to appoint a guardian for your children in your trust.
- The assets in your trust are not subject to probate, which means that your affairs will remain private.
- You’re able to appoint a successor trustee who will be able to handle your trust’s assets and affairs if you become incapacitated.
As you can see, each document has its benefits. You actually likely need both. If you have any additional questions about using a revocable living trust and or a will, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.