Wills and trusts are both legal documents that can help to ensure that your property and affairs are managed to your specifications after your passing. The key difference between these two types of documents is that the directives in a will are not applicable until your passing, while a trust can be created and become applicable while you are still alive.
Those who are considering the creation of a trust can use the following information to learn about the benefits it offers and help to ensure that it is structured to be the best possible fit for their needs.
Trusts can be utilized for specific goals
A trust can serve many purposes, depending on how it is designed. The basic goal of most trusts is usually to protect assets or ensure that certain assets are directed to the desired parties, but a trust can also be used for other, more specific goals. For example, parents who have a child with disabilities that will require lifelong care can use a trust as a way to manage and disperse funds to pay for the care over the child's lifetime. Another common example is when a trust is used to ensure that property is passed down to future generations, instead of being sold.
Trusts offer more privacy than a will
One of the most important reasons to utilize a trust is the assumption of privacy that surrounds it. Those who depend solely on a will to determine how their assets are handled after their death should understand that wills generally must be probated, a process that can take months to complete.
Because the will is also filed with the county as part of the probate process, its contents become part of the public record and accessible to curious friends or family members who are not included in the wording of the will. Unlike a will, a living trust document is a private legal document that does not need to be probated or made part of the public record.
Trusts are easily revocable
Another important benefit of using a trust is that it is a fully revocable document. Living trusts take effect when created but can easily be amended or terminated, at any point during your lifetime. While a will can also be changed or replaced by a new one during your lifetime, doing so can result in increased challenges by relatives who are unhappy with the wording.
Creating a comprehensive living trust is an important legal matter. To learn more, contact a will and trust attorney in your area.