What are the Differences Between a Will and a Trust?

Creating an extensive estate plan is one of the most important things an individual can do for themselves before their life is over. It allows them to create a plan that prepares for what happens to their assets after their death. This helps an individual continue to protect their possessions and belongings. This can include assets such as real estate, bank accounts, securities, and personal items. There are many options to set up an estate plan, two of which are writing a will or creating a trust. Experienced attorneys can guide people through creating a will that is best for them and their loved ones.

What is a Will?

When an estate plan is created, people sometimes wish to write a will. A will is a legal document that allows an individual to decide how they want their assets to be handled and distributed once their life is over. Having a will can prevent any concerns about what would happen to an individual’s assets if they are left unmanaged. In addition to this, a will makes sure their belongings do not end up in the wrong hands, but in those of their choosing. This also avoids any disagreements between loved ones over where and to whom they believe the assets belong.

If an individual passes away without a will, it is called dying “intestate.” This means their assets are given to and can be distributed by the state of California. In the event of this, the state determines who the assets belong to based on the surviving family members of the deceased.

What is a Trust?

Another option to create a plan for an estate can include the creation of a trust to manage the assets. A trust is a contract between the estate and a trustee. A trustee is a person who manages the trust for the individual who benefits from it, otherwise known as a beneficiary. The arrangement of a trust allows a trustee to hold the assets on their behalf.

There are many benefits to setting up a trust instead of other estate options. Trusts avoid probate, making it possible for a beneficiary to gain access to the assets faster. It also allows a trustor, the owner of the estate, the opportunity to control their wealth by deciding who the assets belong to. Similar to a will, they are able to ensure their properties end up in the right hands. There are several different types of trusts that may be created in California. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Revocable Trust
  • Irrevocable Trust
  • Testamentary Trust
  • Inter Vivos Trust
  • Life Insurance Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Generation-Skipping Trust
  • Charitable Remainder and Charitable Leads Trusts

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is interested in creating an estate plan and is seeking legal counsel, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman today.

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Office of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most.Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.