San Diego Living Trust vs Will
A California living trust attorney can advise you regarding which type of will or living trust can best meet your needs, since both of these estate planning packages can take several different forms.
A will is a legal document that defines how an estate will be distributed and managed after your death and the death of your spouse or partner. A will is the most traditional form of estate management. There are many different types of wills. Many individuals choose to establish both a will and a San Diego living trust when planning for the future of their beneficiaries.
Advantages of Establishing a Will
A will is accompanied by advantages and disadvantages that are distinct from a California living trust. Understanding these differences will help you make the best decision for your family. Advantages of establishing a will include:
Regarding paperwork and formalities, setting up a will is faster and easier than setting up a California living trust.
Younger people, whose assets are still undergoing frequent changes, may prefer a will to a California living trust since wills can often be easier to amend.
When you set up a will, you can choose an executor, or a person who will oversee the distribution of your assets. Institutions like banks appreciate estates with executors, even if you also establish a San Diego living trust. The executor can be the same person as the successor trustee for your California living trust. A successor trustee is the person who oversees your trust after your death.
In some circumstances, a will is the best way to securely transfer assets you expect to obtain after your death. For example if you expect to collect money from a lawsuit, a will is necessary to ensure that those funds go to your residuary beneficiary if you are no longer living when the funds become available.
A will allows you to leave property to minors, while establishing a guardian for that property until the minor is of age. For example if you want to leave your home to your children, who are still minors, but want an adult to legally oversee the home as well as other assets, you can set this up securely through a will. You can also establish this through a California living trust.
You can also establish a guardian for minors using a will. You can also establish this through a California living trust.
Establishing a will can be a convenient way of making small transfers. For example if you want to leave someone a smaller sum of money, such as a few thousand dollars, a will may be a simple way to make this transfer without having to undergo too much hassle, since you may be able to bypass the probate process if your will includes only small items.
Talk to your California living trust attorney about whether these advantages make a will a good choice for your estate planning needs. Keep in mind that your attorney can help you establish a will in addition to a California living trust so you can reap the benefits of both.
A will is also accompanied by several disadvantages, which can help illustrate some differences between a will and a San Diego living trust. Disadvantages of a will include:
A will can be much more time consuming and complicated to unravel than a San Diego living trust. If you pass away after establishing a will, it will take about a year for your assets to be distributed to beneficiaries, and for the appropriate parties to legally take over management of your estate.
If you establish a will to distribute the majority of your assets, it is likely that you will undergo probate. Probate is a court’s legal supervision of the distribution of property in a will. Probate involves considerable hassle and expense. You will need to pay legal fees, as well as court fees, which can be substantial.
Also through probate, everything you own enters the public record. Unlike a will, a San Diego living trust allows you to escape probate, so your property and what you decide to do with it remains private. Talk to your California living trust attorney about whether it is advisable for your family to allow the public to gain knowledge of your assets and their distribution.
Although the disadvantages that accompany a will cause many individuals to opt for a California living trust, a will may still be the best option for your unique estate planning needs. Talk to a California living trust attorney when making this decision.
Many San Diego living trust lawyers will advise you that it is a good idea to establish a backup will in addition to a living trust as a precautionary measure.
A will can account for any property that may be accidentally excluded from your San Diego living trust. A backup will is especially important when it comes to assets you didn’t know you owned, assets you didn’t yet own at the time of your death, or assets you didn’t have time to add to your California living trust, which can be difficult to amend. For example, if you unexpectedly gain significant assets and do not have time to add them to your San Diego living trust, a backup will can automatically funnel those assets to your residual beneficiary, without requiring changes to your estate plan or your California living trust. Your residuary beneficiary is the person who receives everything you leave behind that is not designated for a specific recipient.
Your California living trust attorney will explain that it can also be easier to transfer certain types of property, such as cars and the contents of personal bank accounts, through a backup will than through a living trust.
The benefits of establishing both a will and a San Diego living trust are explored throughout this site, and can be thoroughly explained by an attorney hired through a California living trust law firm.