Many estate plans are created with the intention of having a sense of control over your assets and estate, even past your lifetime. By creating a trust and utilizing a variety of estate planning tools that fit you and your family’s needs, you are able to dictate which of your loved ones and beneficiaries receive what from your estate after you pass away.

Creating an estate plan makes it easier for your loved ones to deal with your assets, income and estate after you have passed away. By creating an estate plan, an individual can redistribute their assets (money, jewelry, stocks, real estate property, and more) in order for their spouse, children and other loved ones in a way that does not disqualify them for certain government care options, which are opportunities that can mean a lot for some families.

Learn on to read the difference between a will and a trust, two commonly and widely used estate planning tools. If you are concerned with taking care of your loved ones after your death, and want to get started on the estate planning process, contact Thomas Walters PLLC for a free consultation.

What Is A Will?

A will is defined as “a document that gives instructions for managing a testator’s estate. To be valid, a will must be in writing, signed and attested.” A will is considered the cornerstone of the estate plan. In this legal document that must be processed through the probate court system, which ensures all remaining debts of the deceased are paid.

If a will is the best estate planning tool for your and your loved ones, your lawyer will advise. It’s wise to have an understanding of what these tools are and how you can use them, but you can always schedule a free consultation with a lawyer if you have further questions.

What Is A Trust?

A trust is defined as “A form of division of property rights in which for certain property the ownership (which goes to the trustee) is separated from the beneficial enjoyment (which goes to the beneficiary).” The person who is responsible for transferring the property into the trust is known as the “Grantor” or “Settlor”.

How Are Wills And Trusts Different?

There are a handful of differences between wills and trusts. Your lawyer will be able to break down the differences between them, and advise you regarding which estate planning tool is best for you.

One main difference is that wills are public record and trusts are kept private. No one will know the details of the trust except for the attorney, the person filing the trust, and those who are chosen to have access to its terms and conditions.

Additionally, an individual must transfer assets to a trust in order for it to work while they are still alive. This process does not accommodate some people. With a will, you do not need to transfer assets anywhere while you are still alive.

With a trust, an individual can manage their assets while they are incapacitated while, on the other hand, a will only comes into play once that individual has passed away.

Those who own real estate or other property in multiple states may be able to avoid the lengthy court probate process by placing all of their property within a trust. This is another reason some people choose to use a trust as their estate planning tool, instead of a standard will.

Those who have young children who are under the age of eighteen may opt to use a will because, in a will, you are given the ability to designate a guardian for minor children and dependents. This is something you cannot accomplish with a trust.

Call To Schedule A Free Estate Planning Consultation With A Chapel Hill Estate Planning Attorney Today

In order to build an estate plan that fits your needs, you need the help of an attorney who cares about you and your family’s well being. It can be incredibly challenging to file an estate plan and plan for past your lifetime without the proper guidance from the right attorney.

At Thomas Walters PLLC, our carding, hard working estate planning attorneys are happy to work alongside you, in order to make sure everything in your estate plan is binding, set in stone, and upholds your desires and wishes for after you pass away.

If there ever comes a time that you feel the need to modify, change or remove any aspect of an estate plan that you already have in place, our team can help you navigate that situation as well. No matter what your needs are, we’re here to help.