You’ve worked hard to maintain your home, provide for your family, and essentially build your life. Naturally, you would like to protect and control what happens to your assets once you are no longer able. Even if you are a person of modest means, you still have an estate and undoubtedly have preferences as to what happens to it.
Living trusts and wills are both practical and powerful estate planning documents. They can facilitate the transfer of wealth, property, and other assets in the event of your death or incapacitation.
It can be difficult to know exactly which documents or preparations you need to have in place in order to carry out your last wishes in accordance with your intentions. While both documents (a living trust or will) allow you to name beneficiaries for the distribution of property, there are several instances in which a living trust is a preferred method over a will.
Why Choose a Living Trust Over a Will?
1. A Living Trust Avoids Probate
A will must go through the probate process in order to be confirmed and executed. If you happen to own property in multiple states, your family could encounter multiple probates with differing laws depending on the state. While avoiding costs and fees is a likely reason for choosing a living trust, many do so to also avoid the court process in full. Probate is often time-consuming, lacking in privacy, and raises emotional stress.
2. A Living Trust Avoids Court Intervention Amid Incapacity
Many people would prefer their assets or care be handled privately in confidence by people they know and trust. Without a trust, these decisions could be placed in the hands of a court guardianship which is expensive, troublesome, time-consuming, and subject to public scrutiny. A will is of little help during incapacity since it only goes into effect at death.
3. A Living Trust is More Private & Less Readily Challenged
Probate is a public process that invites interested parties or discontented heirs to submit claims to or argue against your will. Furthermore, unsought petitioners could gain access to your family’s private and financial information. While it should be noted that a living trust cannot guarantee absolute privacy, administration of a trust still more private than a will, which is always made public through probate.
4. A Living Trust Creates a Singular Plan & Instruction Set
This creates an environment where it is much easier to provide fair inheritances to named beneficiaries. This includes life insurance policies, investments, and other assets. A will, by comparison, may only control assets that are exclusively in your name, not jointly owned assets. Additionally, your trust may be written in a way that will either pass your assets onto your beneficiaries immediately or segmented out over time. This allows you to more tightly control inheritances regardless of death or incapacity.
Estate Planning Begins With You
In some respects, a living trust and a will accomplish similar objectives. Whether a living trust is better than a will is determined by your own specific circumstances. One size does not fit all. At Syntero Group we understand fully the nuances and distinctions involved in estate planning. With expertise and compassion, we can assist and provide you with exactly the protection and peace of mind you need.
Start today by calling or contacting us online to discover how together we can protect what is yours and ensure you may care for your loved ones, no matter the circumstances.