Many people don’t like to think about end-of-life financial planning. While trusts and wills are often associated with death, though, they are actually about the future. Planning what happens to your estate ensures that those you leave behind will be taken care of financially, that the assets you have worked so hard for throughout your life will be distributed to your loved ones in as you wish and in the best possible manner, so your family will have less to worry about once you’re gone.
Trusts and Wills
Though they are included in the same category, trusts and wills are two very different means of handling assets.
Trusts are set up during an individual’s lifetime, and can be managed by the individual until his or her death, upon which a named successor will take control of the trust and see to the distribution of the assets within it. The named successor can also manage the trust in the event of the individual’s incapacitation due to accident or illness, without need for extra paperwork. A major benefit of a trust is that it does not, typically, have to go through probate, which keeps financial matters private and reduces the expenses of distributing assets.
Wills, on the other hand, simply state how an individual’s assets should be distributed upon the individual’s death. They may also include end-of-life wishes, and whom the individual would like to care for minor children. It does not allow another person to take over assets in the case of incapacitation, and is subject to probate, which can hold up the distribution of assets and add legal expenses to the process.
Get Help from a Trusts and Wills Attorney in Long Beach
Whether a trust or a will is right for you is depends on a number of factors, including the total amount of your assets and the people to whom you want to distribute them. It is also important to remember that wills and trusts can be used in conjunction, with a trust set up for the distribution of assets and a will to explain that distribution and state any last wishes or words of wisdom you would like your family to hear. When you are ready to set up your will or trust, Long Beach attorney Brandie Grover Devall is available to guide you through the process, so you can have the peace of mind of knowing you have done everything you could to provide for your family.