When you are working on your estate plan, one thing you need to consider is if you would like to establish a trust and will together. Some people prefer to think about trusts rather than wills, and in some cases, you may not need both.
A living trust could, potentially, replace the need for a will, but having only a trust isn’t practical for most people. Trusts are usually more complex and expensive to set up, which is one consideration. You may also have assets that you don’t want to place into a trust or assets that you don’t remember to place into a trust, and not having a will would make it hard to pass those on without probate.
Using a living trust and will together could be a better option
For some people, having a living trust and will together is a better option. In the living trust, you can name beneficiaries for certain property. In the will, you can instruct how taxes and debts should be paid from your estate or name an executor. You can establish a guardian for your minor children or name property managers to take care of your children’s property.
While a living trust helps you avoid issues like conservatorships or court challenges, it isn’t necessarily enough to only have a living will on its own. Similarly, a will protects you in many ways, but it may not be as protective as a living trust in terms of helping your family avoid probate or similar issues.
A stronger estate plan is one that is molded to your needs
Everyone has different circumstances in their lives that they need to consider when setting up a will or trust. Since no two people are exactly alike, it can be hard to know what kinds of legal documents are needed and which you may be able to avoid using.
It is worth discussing the benefits of wills and trusts when you start working on your estate plan, so you can choose a combination of legal protections that will help you and your family be in the best position if you are incapacitated or pass away.