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The Benefits of Having Trusts and Wills

According to Forbes, over half of all Americans don’t have even a basic estate plan in place. Although most people probably don’t think of making plans for their assets after death a priority, it’s an important consideration for adults of all ages and stages of life. An experienced estate planning attorney can help clients understand and organize living trusts and wills. While both documents serve the purpose of naming beneficiaries for property, they also have individual features that are useful.

Benefits of a Living Trust

The majority of clients that choose living trusts do so to avoid probate. This is the court process that a will must go through to allow distribution of assets by the executor. Living trusts make the process faster since the successor trustee does not have to go through the court. Instead, he or she pays the debts and distributes assets on their own according to written instructions from the original trustee. While drafting a living trust may involve a bigger up-front investment than drafting a will, the ability to avoid court often avoids an excess financial expense. A living trust allows the client to name someone to handle property in the event of incapacitation and can make the process of handling an estate, particularly a large one, easier for loved ones after death.

Benefits of a Will

For those with young children, a will is usually the more popular option. Although the execution of a will does require the probate court process, it is also unlike a living trust in that it allows clients to name guardians for young children and establish managers for the underage beneficiaries’ property. Additionally, those with little property or extensive debts may find a will to be a better option, as wills specifically instruct the executor on how to pay taxes and debts. Creating a will with an estate planning attorney is a much less complex process than drafting a living trust, and the investment may also be significantly less.

Trying to decide whether you need a living trust or a will? The Law Offices of Stephen P. Levesque, an experienced estate attorney, can help. We know how confusing the process can be. Rely on our guidance to help you make legal decisions with confidence. Contact us online or by calling (401) 490-4900 to schedule your consultation today.

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