What are the pros and cons of having a will or trust?
This is such an important question, especially in today’s climate. This question doesn’t really have a one-size-fits-all answer, but we’ll try to lay it out in very general terms: while everyone should at least have a will, not everyone is going to need a trust.
A will is one of the fundamental forms of end-of-life documentation and is something everyone should have. Dying without a will could complicate the transference of ownership to your spouse/kids, and leaves the door open to create conflict among your heirs – even if you don’t think your kids are the type to fight over assets, everything can change when a pile of money is on the table.
Whether or not you need a trust is a much more involved question, and is based on your individual situation, needs, and wishes for your assets. A trust allows you much more control over your assets after you die than a basic will would – you can specify terms such as, “The grandkids only receive their share once they’re age 30 and have earned a college degree,” for example. Certain types of trusts can also serve other purposes, such as helping to protect your assets from nursing homes in retirement.
The ‘cons’ are a much shorter list: a will is the most affordable option, but you’re only able to spell out who gets what. A trust allows you more control but comes with a bigger price tag.
To summarize: everyone’s situation is different. While some people may only need a basic will, there are many circumstances where a trust could be a more appropriate option. To know which one is right for you, you’ll need to sit down with a qualified Estate Planning Attorney to discuss your options. If you would like to meet with our Estate Planning Attorney, Wes Blanchard, give our office a call.
Check out this article, How to Take Advantage of New Estate Planning Opportunities Caused by the Coronavirus on our News Blog.
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