The Difference Between Trusts and Wills

Do you know how to decide whether or not you need a trust, a will, or both? Most people partner with an experienced estate planning lawyer when putting together their strategy for their estate.

A lawyer can help you review existing estate planning documents and help you decide what assets will be passed through a trust versus your will.

Attorney Neel Shah recently shared the difference between a will and a trust with the Tribune. He says, “A will is like leaving your family a recipe to bake a cake after you’ve passed away.” In this analogy, someone in your family would have to go buy the ingredients to make the cake and prepare them in the right order.

Putting together a trust, however, allows you to make the initial recipe while you’re still around. When you create a trust, you’d control how the cake is made and then you can decide who you’ll share this with through your trust.

One common reason people turn to a trust is because you put in the work today to make things easier for your loved ones in the future.

Even though a will might be easier and faster to put together, a trust equips you with more control and the flexibility many people prefer. With the added layer of privacy afforded by a trust, you also get peace of mind that your plans will be kept private between your trustees and your beneficiaries alone rather than becoming a matter of public record.

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