What makes a will different from a trust?

will vs. trust

When an individual is estate planning, they will typically create a trust alongside their will. A will and a trust are two extremely important legal documents that an individual should have established. These types of legal documents effectively ensure that a person’s wishes are precisely followed after they’ve died. Meaning, their assets will be transferred to their designated beneficiaries or heirs. Individuals must comprehend the differences between these two types of legal documents as they function and cover several different components. If you need help ensuring your assets are protected in the future, contact an experienced and trusted Montgomery County Estate Planning Attorney who can help you establish a will and trust. Our firm is dedicated to helping our clients ensure their wishes are properly honored in the future. 

What components make a will different from a trust?

Firstly, a will is a legal document that an individual creates to coordinate the distribution of their assets after they’ve died. A will ensures their assets are transferred to their designated beneficiaries or heirs. A will can help a person address any tough decisions to relieve their loved ones of the difficult burden. This type of legal document is extremely important as it clearly states a person’s wishes. On the other hand, a trust is a fiduciary agreement. Essentially, trusts are created as a contract between the estate and a third party. Trusts allow individuals to be specific on how their assets are distributed and to who and when. Both are created to ensure that a person’s assets are properly managed according to an individual’s wishes. A will and a trust are very important puzzle pieces to estate planning.

Although a will and trust have similar functions, several differences set them apart. One of the main differences between a will and a trust is that a will can only take effect after an individual has died, while a trust can be used both during and after an individual’s life. When it comes to properties, a will can cover any property that is in the deceased name. However, a property can only be included in a trust if it is transferred to the trustee. In terms of probate, a will has to pass through probate and the court must ensure the deceased wishes are honored. However, a trust does not pass in court. Additionally, a will cannot address any matters related to incapacity. However, a trust allows individuals to name a person to take power over their assets in the event of incapacitation. Nonetheless, several differences separate a will from a trust. Both a will and trust are effective tools for a person’s end-of-life plan.

If you want to protect your legacy in the future, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our dedicated and skilled team members who can help you take those next steps in protecting your assets. Our firm is committed to helping our clients ensure their wishes are carried out after death.