A Trust vs. a Will: Which is Better?

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A Trust vs. a Will: Which is Better?

It is difficult to think about death and dying, but preparing a family or loved one for the future can put your mind at ease, and assist your loved ones with your expectations in the future. Additionally, a will or trust provides security to your family members and in most cases, explicitly outlines what will happen with assets, property, and inheritance. But what is the difference between the two legal documents?

The following article will discuss the legality of wills and trusts in divorce, explore the benefits and drawbacks of each, and discuss what couples should include in these legal instruments. Furthermore, we will highlight the advantages of hiring a family law attorney to guide families through the process.

What are the benefits and setbacks of a will or trust?

 A will is a legal document that outlines a person’s wishes regarding the distribution of their assets and the guardianship of their children. It is relatively easy and cost-effective to create, making it more favorable for individuals with straightforward estates and simpler family dynamics. However, wills are subject to probate, a court-supervised process that can be time-consuming and potentially costly.

A family trust provides more comprehensive estate planning benefits. It allows transferring assets to a trust during a person’s lifetime, avoiding probate and providing privacy. Trusts are particularly beneficial for couples with children, as they allow for the establishment of detailed instructions regarding the care and financial support of minor children. Additionally, trusts provide flexibility in managing assets and can protect against challenges to the estate plan.

What should families and couples consider when drafting or altering a will or trust?

When drafting a will or trust, couples should consider several important aspects. In both cases, it is crucial to identify beneficiaries, designate guardians for minor children, and provide instructions for the distribution of assets. Additionally, couples may want to include provisions for spousal support, healthcare directives, and powers of attorney to address various potential contingencies.

When it comes to divorce, the issue of altering or changing a will or trust can be a cause for concern. Legally, one partner cannot unilaterally modify or change the provisions of a will or trust without the other’s consent. Shared decisions must be made, and any modifications should be handled through a formal legal process, ensuring both parties have a say in the disposition of assets and property, safeguarding the interests of all involved.

Why hire a family law attorney to draft a will or trust?

Navigating the complexities of wills and trusts during divorce or otherwise can be overwhelming, which is why the expertise of a family law attorney is invaluable. Hiring an attorney specializing in family law ensures that the legal documents are correctly drafted, in compliance with state laws, and accurately reflect the couple’s intentions. Attorneys can guide the laws and regulations applicable to wills and trusts during divorce, helping couples navigate the process smoothly and protect their rights and interests.

The decision between a will and a trust depends on the unique circumstances and goals of the couple. While wills are simpler to create and may be more suitable for straightforward estates, trusts offer greater flexibility, privacy, and advantages for couples with complex assets or children. Consulting with a family law attorney is highly recommended to ensure that wills and trusts are tailored to individual needs and to receive expert guidance throughout the divorce process.

With the support of legal representation at Andrea Heckman Law, couples can navigate the intricacies of wills and trusts and secure a sound future for themselves and their loved ones. Contact us today.

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