Wills & Trusts
A will is a set of instructions that lists what will happen to your property once you die, names a guardian for your children and for your children’s property, how your debts and taxes will be paid, and what will happen to your pets.
Almost every state has the same basic requirements to create a valid will: capacity, creation, signature, and witnesses.
A trust is a legal entity that you can place your assets into. Creating a trust gives you more control over your assets because you get to design the rules of the trust. You decide how, when, and where the assets in the trust are distributed to a heir or beneficiary.
There are several benefits to setting up a trust. First, the assets in the trust do not need to be probated. If you establish a revocable living trust that terminates when you die, the assets in the trust will pass immediately to the beneficiaries. This saves your beneficiaries time and money. Other benefits include tax advantages for the creator of the trust and the beneficiaries, privacy from the public probate process, and the continuing effectiveness of a trust even if the creator dies or is incapacitated.