Who should get a Will?
Most people should take the time to prepare a Will to make it easier for loved ones to inherit. A Will is a document which is witnessed and notarized and puts forth on paper the last wishes of the deceased. The Will explains who are the beneficiaries (persons inheriting), who may not inherit, who the trustee (person administering the Will) is, funeral arrangements, bank account information, property, personal affects’ and who to give them to, along with other important information the family should know about the deceased. This document is used whenever a probate is started in court and is the basis of the proceedings in order to transfer property to the beneficiaries.
Who should get a Trust?
A Trust is not for everyone, but if you own property it is a better way of transferring the property without having to open a probate upon the death of testator (person who created the Trust). A Trust like a Will has beneficiaries, a trustee to manage the trust and other similar language to a Will. The difference is a Trust is sort of like a company, it continues to live after the decedent’s death and makes the transfer of property much easier in that it does not involve the court system or the filing of a probate. A Trust also allows the decedent to control the assets for the beneficiaries even after death in providing time periods or rules for the the beneficiaries to inherit the assets of the Trust.
Should you have both, a Will and a Trust?
Yes, a Will and Trust together can be the best combination to insure a smooth transition for loved ones to inherit without the chance of infighting between the family by having a clear understanding of what the decedent wanted to happen after his or her death and an easier transfer of the assets. A Trust can also provide asset protection.
When should I prepare a Will and/or Trust?
Now, don’t wait, this is the beginning of the year, get organized and prepare your Will and Trust now so you are ready for the future.