As you age or acquire more assets, you will want to sit down and take time to perform some estate planning. Estate planning allows you to prepare for what happens to your estate when you pass away. Although estate planning may seem like something only wealthy people do, that is not true. Many people want to have a say in what happens to their assets and property after they pass, and this is just one way to do so. As a family law practice in Orlando, we help many people with their estate planning needs, and this often involves choosing between a will and a trust.
Wills are more popular and more widely recognized than trusts, but that does not mean that they are the supreme method of estate planning. Wills allow you to name beneficiaries for your estate and appoint guardians for your children. It also provides you with the ability to outline any final wishes you may have upon your death. When your life and priorities change, you can easily make changes to your will. Typically, these are simple to write up and execute.
Wills, on the other hand, are not private documents. When you pass away, your wishes, assets, and beneficiaries are made public information. This can cause conflict between family members that may fight over their inheritance after your passing. If you want to avoid any family dramatics that can occur as a result of your decisions, you may want to avoid using a will to plan your estate.
Wills are the affordable option that allow people to assign their assets for after their passing, but they do not give you much control of these assets when you are still living. Often times, these are beneficial for those without too many assets to manage.
While trusts are more expensive to create from the beginning, they can offer you the privacy and discretion that wills cannot. Trusts allow your assets to be divided privately, without any need for court involvement or family drama. They also offer your beneficiaries asset protection, which can save them from losing any money to collections agencies, bankruptcy, lawsuits, or other issues that may affect their lives.
Trusts also allow you to control your assets while you are still alive, which you cannot do with your will. In the event that you become incapacitated and can no longer act as the beneficiary while you are still living, a trust will allow you to appoint a successor trustee to handle these decisions.
Both wills and trusts will distribute your assets upon your death, but they both do so in different manners. Talk with your family law practice in Orlando to determine which option is most suitable for your situation when you are estate planning. Contact the experienced team at Frank Family Law Practice to hear how we can help get your affairs in order today.