The idea of estate planning, for most individuals, involves preparing a will so that your assets and property are distributed to those you choose after you pass away. What many people don’t realize, however, is that probate is still a necessary process when you only have a will prepared. At N•M Law, APC, our #1 goal is to help you and your loved ones avoid the probate process. The first step is to understand the difference between wills and a living trust.
WHAT IS A WILL?
A will is a legal document that explains in detail what an individual wants to happen after they pass away. This will includes their final wishes regarding everything from their remains, as well as money, assets, and property to be distributed among loved ones. Wills are mostly beneficial to those who have money or property valuing less than $150,000, but still require the probate process to be completed. After the passing of the individual, the document will have to be verified as the true will before a probate judge. The property will next have to be distributed through state litigation and trust litigation. If a living trust has been drafted, the probate process could be avoided entirely.
WHAT IS A LIVING TRUST?
Like a will, a living trust documents how you would like your property and assets handled after your passing. The only major difference is that living trusts do not require probate. There are many types of trusts that can be created depending on each trustor’s unique situation. Trusts are often placed in the control of a person or their other entity known as the trustee. A trustee is in charge of handling the property according to the wishes of the trustor, and has duties to carry out as required by statutory law. In addition, a trustor is able to identify the beneficiaries to benefit from the trust at specific times or circumstances. In contrast to a will, living trusts can come into effect while the trustor is still alive, as well as extend for years after their passing. Rather than distributing wishes by an impersonal judge, a trust allows a trustor to ensure their estate be passed on by a designated trustee.
HIRE AN ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY
Contact N•M Law, APC at your earliest convenience to find out what we can do for you. Noelle Minto is dedicated to helping her clients avoid the probate process and draft detailed wills and living trusts so that their assets are in order prior to their passing. No matter your health or age, N•M Law, APC encourages you to take advantage of our superior skill and knowledge. Take the first step in estate planning today by choosing to contact Noelle Minto.