February 20, 2023
Wills and trusts are two crucial estate planning documents. These documents ensure your wealth is divided well among your beneficiaries, alive or after death. While most estates require both wills and trusts, a will or trust alone could be enough.
Choosing between Texas wills and trusts can be challenging, and that’s where the Villeda Law Group saves the day. We help our clients with wills, trusts, and other estate planning services. Contact our team today for more details and assistance on Texas wills and trusts.
Keep reading, as this article will shed more light on wills and trusts to help you make more informed decisions.
Difference Between a Trust and Will
Understanding the difference between trusts and wills is vital in helping you choose the best. Here’s a breakdown of these two legal documents used to convey assets to your loved ones upon death.
What Is a Will?
A will is an estate planning document that directs the distribution of your belongings, including assets, prized property, and your bank balances, upon your demise. Usually, a will should only be opened when you die and should show how you would want your wealth to be distributed when you die.
As such, you should include a list of all your properties and the decision proportions for how you would like your beneficiaries to share them. If you do not have a will in Texas, the intestate laws for dividing property are applied, which means that your property will be divided amongst your heirs at law as the state sees fit.
What Is Trust?
A trust is another vital estate planning document that discusses the division of your property while you are still alive or dead. A trust protects assets from its creditors, helps avoid probate, and prevents conflicts regarding the division of your property.
When writing a trust, you should choose a trustee who will ensure the trust is followed well regarding distributing your wealth to your beneficiaries.
Trusts comes in two primary forms: revocable and irrevocable. In a revocable trust you can easily change the details of your property division if need be, on the contrary making the same changes to an irrevocable trust could be a lot harder.
Which Is Best For You?
Understanding the benefits of trusts and wills is a great way to help you make an informed decision. After all, you should go for the option which benefits you and your beneficiaries the most. Below are the main benefits of a trust vs a will.
Advantages of a Will:
- Provides financial security to your loved ones when you die
- It helps you avoid inheritance disputes
- It speeds up the process of dividing your wealth when you die
- You can choose a guardian for your children
- It can reduce your inheritance taxes
Advantages of a Trust:
- A revocable trust can help with disability and illness, not just death
- Trusts offer peace of mind to your dear ones and certainty when you’re ill, incapacitated, or dead
- A trust is flexible, and you may change the details
So, Who Needs a Will and Trust?
Generally, wills and trusts are estate planning documents with almost the same functions. The only differences between them are:
- Assets in a trust don’t go through the probate process
- Trust proceeds tend to be private, but wills are public
- Trust has more maintenance needs, as you have to keep updating them whenever a change in your circumstances happens
Choosing between a wills, trust, or both is a personal decision based on your preferences and the type and quantity of property you own. You can easily choose according to your unique needs when you understand what each option offers.
Choose a will if you are comfortable with the public proceeding and only need it to be adhered to after your death. On the other hand, choose a trust if you want a more private transfer of your wealth to your beneficiaries. A trust is also an excellent idea if you wish to avoid or reduce probate court costs.
How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Help
Choosing between Texas wills and trusts is a complex decision that can sometimes overwhelm you. If you need help deciding between a will, a trust, or both find an experienced attorney to help.
At Villeda Law Group, we educate and help our clients make informed estate planning decisions. We have more than 40 years of experience in law, and we’re committed to helping you plan well for your future. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with us.