When most people think about estate planning, a will is the first thing that comes to mind, and with good reason. Wills are straightforward, affordable to set up, and revocable. There are many perfectly legitimate reasons to organize one’s estate using a will, but wills aren’t for everyone.
Alternative estate planning tools abound, and the living trust is one of the most popular. For many estate planners, choosing between a will and a living trust is easier said then done. To make the decision a little easier, here are a few important factors to consider:
One of the most appealing features of the living trust is that it avoids probate court. This may save your loved ones considerable time and money. Considering that probate fees are usually taken as a percentage of the estate, wealthy individuals find this characteristic especially attractive.
Probate proceedings are usually made public. Therefore, going with a living trust (which avoids probate court) is a good way to ensure the details of your estate remain private.
Wills are desirable because of their simplicity and affordability. Living trusts, on the other hand, are far more complex documents and require considerable funds to both set up and maintain.
When it comes to estate planning, one size doesn’t fit all
Most of us don’t have enormous estates, but our lives, and our desires, are complicated. For this reason, it’s important to find the estate planning approach that’s right for you.
The first step is contacting an experienced estate planning lawyer. They understand the nuances of the law and can construct a tailored plan around the client’s unique needs and objectives.
Estate planning is about honoring the wishes of the deceased and ensuring their family’s future is protected. Having professional representation means peace of mind for both the testator and their descendants.
If cost is a concern, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation at no out-of-pocket cost to the client.