Wills vs. Trusts: Which Is Right for You?

Estate planning is essential for making sure that your wishes are respected after your death or if you are living but incapacitated. Two of the most talked-about estate planning tools are Wills and trusts. As you prepare to collaborate with a lawyer to create your plan, it’s important to understand the difference between these tools. A lawyer can help you decide which is right for you, but it is helpful to have a basic understanding before you get started!

What Is a Will?

Wills state your intentions for how your affairs and assets should be handled after you pass away. It can appoint a guardian for any minor-aged children. It names your beneficiaries and states how much and/or which of your assets they should receive. You can also create a Living Will to express your wishes if you are unable to communicate while still living.

What Is a trust?

A trust is a way of giving someone you trust (called the trustee) the authority to control your assets to the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary or beneficiaries). There are several different types of trusts, all with different, specific purposes.

Which is a better choice for you?

Whether you should create a Will or a trust really depends on your personal and familial needs. No two situations are exactly the same and different people aim to achieve different things with their estate plans. It’s quite possible that you could even need a Will and a trust. A lawyer can help you make an informed decision. Some factors to take into consideration include:

  • Privacy: A Will becomes a matter of public record, while a trust does not. This means that if you use a Will, anyone who wants to will be able to find out what you owned and who inherited it.
  • Probate: A Will requires probate — the legal process of distributing a deceased person’s assets to heirs — while a trust does not. This is important because probate can be expensive and time-consuming.
  • Funeral arrangements: A Will allows you to make plans for your funeral, while a trust does not.

Interested in learning more about Wills and trusts. At Drucker & Mattia, PLLC, we are eager to help clients get started with their estate plans. We offer new clients a complimentary consultation. Contact us today at 718-458-2312 to find out how we can help you.

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