Estate Planning Tools
There is a variety of different tools and legal documents that can be helpful when creating an estate plan to get your financial affairs in order. These tools have different functions and can best be explained by a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. These tools include:
- Trusts (sometimes referred to as “living trusts”)
- Powers of Attorney
- Advance Directives
- Succession Plans
Some of the most common estate planning documents are wills and trusts. These documents share similarities but also differ in other ways.
Information About Wills & Trusts
Knowing the differences between a will and trust is the first step in determining which is best for your unique situation. Both are useful in putting your wishes in writing from a legal standpoint, but there are distinct differences you should know about when making your estate planning decisions.
A will (or a “last will and testament”) is a legal document that allows you to express your specific wishes regarding your estate so that your assets can be distributed accordingly when you pass away, as well as providing direction for the care of any minor children. When you die, your will goes through probate court before it is released to your designated heirs.
A trust (or “living trust”) functions similarly to a will but allows the allocation of assets and designations to be made while you are still living. While a will only goes into effect upon your passing, a trust places your estate under the ownership of the trust itself, with you choosing an executor to have control over the trust.
A key aspect of a trust is that it allows your estate to avoid going through the probate process in order to allocate your assets.
No matter what stage of life you are in or how your finances are structured, you can benefit from the peace of mind offered by wills and trusts. With your wishes in writing, you can save yourself uncertainty regarding the future of your estate and help your family members avoid potential confusion and added stress after your passing.
How Skilled Attorneys Can Help
When there are important legal decisions to be made, it is always in your best interest to work with skilled attorneys to get the guidance you need. From explaining the details of estate planning to helping you draft a will or a trust, having an attorney leading you in the right direction at every stage is a valuable asset.
Our attorneys will take the time to meet with you and learn your needs and goals for the future, explain the different options that are available to you, and help you make informed decisions that will put you in a position to reach your desired result.
You don’t have to worry about trying to navigate the complicated legal landscape of wills & trusts on your own. Our team of attorneys is ready to work with you to take the right steps to accomplish your goal.