If you are actively exploring options for your estate plan, you are likely considering whether a will or a trust is appropriate. Depending on your personal finances and how you would like your estate to be distributed, there are special considerations to using wills and trusts. This includes how each of these documents functions and the legal repercussions that can come with them.
Determining the right approach to an effective estate plan that meets your wishes and goals can be complicated. You do not have to navigate the complex estate planning process alone. If you live in or near Los Angeles and have questions or would like some direction in terms of how to configure your estate plan to meet your needs, call Leiva Law. The Los Angeles estate planning attorneys at Leiva Law can help you put together the right plan.
What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?
A will starts when a person dies while trusts can be active throughout a person’s life and beyond. Trusts, unlike wills, do not require probate. Probate can be costly and also a drawn-out process. When a will goes through probate, it is a matter of public record. Some families may not want this information to be made available for public consumption.
Livable trusts, though, do not have to go through probate and therefore can remain private. Trusts also may allow a person to reduce the tax burden on their estate. This is especially true for individuals that have real estate in their portfolio.
To form a trust, you must first put together the right documentation. Then, the property you own must go into the trust. By doing this, and “funding the trust” you will be able to thwart probate in the future.
While there are many benefits to using a trust, doing so alone without a will is probably not a good idea. If you have not put everything you have into the trust, then supplementing it with a will is beneficial. In this way, you can have anything not included in the trust covered in your will. This provides you with greater control of the distribution of your estate when you die.
There are things that a will can do that a trust cannot which is why using both can be the best route. For example, if you have minor children, you can name a guardian for them in a will. This is not possible in a trust. Also, figuring out how a trust can mix with your retirement plan is another consideration that if done incorrectly could have an unwanted impact on your taxes.
Speak with a Los Angeles Estate Planning Attorney Today
Estate planning is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Often, the use of a will and trust makes for a capable combination that will help you achieve your desired results. Once a plan is put in place, regularly reviewing it and making adjustments will keep it up to date and true to your wishes. To learn more call the Los Angeles business and civil attorneys at Leiva Law to schedule a free consultation at (818) 519-4465.