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Wills and Trusts: Which One is Right for Me?

Thu, Apr 06, 2017 at 10:05AM

Wills and Trusts: Which One is Right for Me?

There’s never a wrong time to start thinking about wills, trusts, and the kind of legacy you want to leave behind.

If tax season has you reevaluating your financial situation, or you simply want to ensure that you’re doing as much as you can for the people you love, now is a great opportunity to learn more about the options available to you from a Volusia County will attorney.

Confused about what those options are? Don’t worry—in today’s blog, we aim to simplify the basic, estate planning concepts of wills and living trusts. Take a look!

Wills and probate

Probate is a court process that is required when a person dies owning assets in the decedent's own name and with no designated beneficiaries to receive the assets. It can be required if the deceased person left a will, and it can be necessary if the deceased did not leave a will. It can be applicable to some of a deceased person's property, even though it may not apply to other assets.

Thus, whether probate is required depends upon how assets are held. For example, a deceased person could have a bank account payable on death to the person's children, a bank account owned jointly, and a home in the person's name. The account that is payable on death would not require probate, because it passes automatically to the beneficiaries; the other account does not require probate, because it is owned jointly, with right of survivorship; but the home requires, probate because it does not pass automatically.

Trusts: the private option?

What is a trust, or living trust, anyway? The key factor that separates it from a will is that it involves the transferring of property to the trust. Think of it like a box, in which you can place the assets you care most about (everything from bank accounts to real estate to precious family keepsakes). You can appoint someone you trust to care for and manage that box when you can’t (due to death or, in some cases, incapacitation).

Another attractive feature of trusts, for some, is the ability to deal outside of court. Your trust is a sort of contract that you prepare (and have notarized) ahead of time, so there’s no question of what you want done with your property.

When it comes to the intricacies of estate planning, today’s blog is just the beginning. Call Pyle & Dellinger, your local, Daytona Beach estate planning attorneys, today to learn more about finding the options that are best for you. We’re here to help at every step of the way. 

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