Creating an estate plan is the best way to protect your assets after you are gone and ensure your family has everything they need.
Most people begin the process with a will or trust.
What is a will?
A will is a legal document that specifically lays out your plans for distributing your assets and caring for your minor children in the event of your death. You can create a will at any point and make changes to it whenever necessary. Should you pass away without a will in place, either the court or the state decides what happens to your assets. Having your will and estate plan officially prepared by professionals helps avoid challenges and issues for your family.
What is a trust?
A trust is similar to a will in that it lays out your plans for property distribution. However, you, the trustor, name someone as your trustee. The trustee ensures the plans for your estate, namely asset distribution, carry out as you wish. Who you choose as your trustee is up to you. It can be an individual, more than one person or a company.
Which one is better?
Both wills and trusts have individual advantages. Neither is better than the other. Depending on your situation, you may prefer one over the other, or you may want both. For example, a trust allows your family to avoid probate court, but a will does not.
Before you decide what you want to include in your estate plan, assess your situation and discuss with professionals what best protects your assets and your family.