The Difference Between a Living Trust and a Will

What Is a Will?

One of the first steps in estate planning is to write a thorough will. This document indicates how you would like your property allocated at the time of your death. It can also allow you to appoint a guardian for your children. Without a will, you may not be able to direct what happens to your estate after you pass.  However, not everyone should use the same exact will. There are different types of wills for different types of situations. Choosing the correct type of will and ensuring that it considers all the important factors such as current estate taxes. insurance issues and other aspects can help move things easily through the probate process.

What Is a Living Trust?

This document allows you to put your assets into a trust while you are alive and then transfer them to your designated beneficiaries after you die. The main benefit of a living trust is that it avoids probate, the legal process that takes place after someone dies. Livings trusts also are used to manage property. If a person is disabled or ill, a successor trustee can manage the trust property. Living trusts can help you avoid probate, reduce estate taxes, or allow for long-term property management.

I Have a Living Trust, Do I Need a Will?

Yes, if you do not have a will, any property that hasn’t been transferred to the trust will go to your closest relatives in accordance with state law. These state laws may not allocate your property in the manner which you would have preferred.

Next Steps

If you are ready to create a Trust or Will, would like more information, or have further questions please contact us for a free consultation at (914) 228-7448. Parisi, Coan and Saccocio, PLLC has over 100 years combined experience in estate planning, administration of client’s wishes after passing, and representing litigants in cases of disputed estate matters. 

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