When it comes to estate planning, it may be intimidating to sort through all of the options available to you. Understanding each and every legal tool in an estate plan can even overwhelm those who already have some knowledge about estate planning, let alone someone who is new to the estate planning world. When it comes to wills and trusts, the two often get confused. While some aspects of wills and trusts are similar, they each have their own role in an effective estate plan. For starters, wills and living trusts both specify who gets your assets when you pass away. Here are some areas in which they may differ. Wills are often less expensive to create and that’s their greatest advantage. Living trusts (AKA family trusts, AKA revocable trusts, AKA revocable living trusts) offer privacy, they can avoid the probate process in the courts, they can be helpful if there are multiple real estate holdings, especially if there is real estate in other states, they can include sub-trusts for beneficiaries which may offer protections from creditors and bad spending decisions, and they can be helpful for tax purposes particularly if there might be a potential estate tax liability in the future.
To clarify what each type of will or trust can do for you and your family, reach out to our estate planning law firm at 512-400-4430 in Austin or 713-489-7360 today in Houston.
Is a Will or a Trust Better for Me?
Both a will and a trust can be effective estate planning tools you can utilize to create a better future for you and your family. In general, creating a will may seem much simpler and can effectively guide your family through the probate process following your death. On the other hand, an effective trust can help you avoid probate entirely, letting your appointed trustee handle your trust administration. It’s case specific and also subjective in many circumstances as to whether a will or a trust is better for you. Some clients absolutely want a will and not trust while others may want the opposite. We help you understand the differences so that together we can make the best decision for you and your life savings. We can speak with you to see what your specific needs are and custom-tailor an estate plan just for you.
Are Either Estate Planning Options Necessary for Me?
Too many people across Texas forgo putting creating an estate plan the most common reasons cited by people we interview are the following: it’s too expensive; I don’t have the time for that; it’s too stressful to think about; and I don’t know who I want to name in my estate plan as beneficiaries and/or executors/agents. Unfortunately, if you don’t do estate planning, then here are some common consequences of that neglect: (1) the wrong people inherit your life savings; (2) the right people inherit your estate, but they blow all your money on alcohol, drugs, partying, or they lose it in a divorce; (3) they don’t have anyone named with the powers to make financial and medical decisions for you while incapacitated and the result is disastrous and expensive; (4) the wrong person (say someone with spending problems or bankruptcy issues) ends up in charge of your finances; and/or (5) your loved ones end up fighting and hating each other. For those reasons, we think it’s crucial that you speak with an experienced lawyer helping clients with estate planning regarding your estate plan. After all, it is your life savings, right? Do you really want to skimp and try to save a few bucks when the results could possibly be disastrous if you either don’t do any planning or if you do your planning incorrectly?
Should I Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer for My Needs?
Hiring an estate planning lawyer can put you on the right path toward a protected future. Let us provide you with the peace of mind in knowing that your estate will be properly protected for the years to come. Whether you need help setting up a will, a trust, or both, get in contact with our law firm today to get started on your estate plan. Learn more about your potential estate plan by speaking with our law firm at 512-400-4430 in Austin or at 713-489-7360 in Houston.