Wills, Living Trusts, and Probate: What Does it All Mean?
Estate planning can be overwhelming, as it forces you to not only confront the prospect of death, but it also means that you must sift through all of your assets. Of course, some people also put this off because they are confused by what it means to have a will versus a living trust, not to mention the process of probate. However, once you understand the basic process of estate planning, you may be encouraged to get your own affairs in order.
Wills Versus Living Trusts
Regardless of your age or any other circumstances, you stand to benefit from considering a will and living trust when you are still young. Many people find it confusing to determine the difference between these two legal documents. However, the differences are actually quite simple:
- Will – A will is a legal document that distributes your assets upon your death. A will must go through a process called probate for your assets to be rightfully distributed.
- Living Trust – Just like a will, a living trust also directs the distribution of your assets, however this document avoids having to go through probate, allowing for the immediate control of all assets. Therefore, it changes the title of your assets to avoid probate upon your death.
What is Probate?
Probate occurs after death for individuals who have allocated their assets with a will. The legal process, which can last up to two years or more in some cases, serves to ensure that debts are paid prior to the distribution of the assets. Because this process can be quite long and has to be professionally executed, it can be quite expensive.
Take Care of Your Estate Planning With a Reputable Lawyer
When it comes time to take care of your estate planning, it is best to work with a lawyer who can draft your will or trust and guarantee that everything is in order. Law Office of Roger K. Evans PC can provide you with all of the expertise and advice you need to execute your affairs properly, protecting your assets and your family should anything ever happen to you.