Wills and trusts are two important legal documents you can create to protect your assets and final wishes upon your death. Thinking about the inevitable is never easy. Having the same discussion with your spouse or adult children is even more difficult. However, planning for the future is a great way to reduce the stress your family will go through once you are gone.
The compassionate and friendly team Edwin Cook Law can answer all of your questions and help you create an estate plan that meets your needs. Wills and trusts should not be overlooked, especially when these documents help protect your assets, finances, property, and beneficiaries.
What is a Will?
A will is a document that can be enforced legally that outlines how you want your affairs to be handled upon your death. It also outlines how your assets are to be distributed. It is one of the most important documents included in an estate plan.
A will appoints guardianship for your minor children should you die before they reach the age of 18. If you die without a will or with a will without guardianship, the probate court will determine who becomes the guardian of your children.
Depending on the laws of your state, you might be able to disinherit a child or a spouse in your will, which also outlines how your assets are to be divided. Within reason, your will can explain how your assets are to be used by your beneficiaries who receive them.
What is a Trust?
A trust is another important aspect of estate planning. It places someone of your choosing in charge of the trust, which is often created to move assets to a third party, such as a child. The trust can outline how and when the recipient is to receive and use the assets left to them.
The single biggest benefit of creating a revocable living trust is to help your family avoid probate. A will alone cannot help you avoid probate, which can last more than a year to complete and cost thousands of dollars based on the total value of the estate.
Combining Wills & Trusts into an Effective Estate Plan
The most experienced estate planning attorneys will recommend creating an estate plan that combines the use of a will and a trust. An estate plan can be strong with just one of these legal entities. However, utilizing both of them together can provide added protection for your family, your assets, and your care should you become incapacitated. A will outlines your specific wishes for your funeral and burial. It also helps you name a guardian for your minor children. A trust does not allow for these plans. However, a living trust helps you plan for medical care, disability, or to provide savings on the taxes your estate must pay.
When you meet with an estate planning attorney from Edwin Cook Law, he or she will review your situation and inform you of the best way to use a will and trust in your estate plan. More often than not, it will be recommended that both of these legal documents are used to build a strong estate plan.
Call Edwin Cook Law to Schedule a Consultation Today
It’s never too late to begin estate planning so long as you are still here and in the right mental capacity to do so. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your future. Protect your children, your spouse, and your assets by having a will and a trust created with the help of an estate planning attorney from Edwin Cook Law. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.