Saturday, February 4, 2012

Living Trust Vs Will and Trust Fund

Wills are documents that distribute your assets and properties to your named beneficiaries once you pass on. The will is processed by the executor, usually named in the will. The executor also manages the estate while in the process of probate. The probate process is when the will is submitted to a court for administration.

Trusts are legal documents that transfer ownership of property and assets from one person to another person or group. This involves a GRANTOR - the one with the property and assets to transfer, BENEFICIARIES - the people who would receive the benefits of the property and or assets, and the TRUSTEE - the one who manages the properties and assets. The trusts are executed while the grantor is still alive, thus the name Living trust.

Let's compare the two, living trust vs will, one point at a time.

With a will, it would take months and some even takes years for it to be executed and completed. For the living trust, it takes also a long time but the beneficiaries already profit from the property and asset. In a trust, your beneficiaries can have immediate access to the property, or the cash in the trust fund.

Wills would need lawyers to draft and then handle the probate process, which would cause additional expenses for the estate. In trusts, given that it is already a legal document when it was conceived means you can avoid excess expenses.

For a will, you will have passed away before it is processed and distributed. That means you can't oversee the transfer of your property or make sure that your requirements are met by the beneficiaries. For the living trust, well, you are alive to do all those things.

For the will, your property and assets may degrade or be lost to creditors and other predators. This could leave your surviving loved ones with nothing but the will. With trusts, your assets and properties are protected.

Wills have personalized and sometimes outrageous provisions. A kind of sense of power even though you are already gone and your family cannot shake their heads at you. For trusts, having weird provisions are not advisable because you are still alive and would probably have to justify those weird provisions.

When the two are compared, the living trust seems to come out on top, but the decision is still yours. Research other living trust vs. will comparison for more insights about the two. Picking the best for you is a matter of information and planning.

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