Wills and trusts may both be used as a part of a comprehensive estate plan. Wills and trusts can also both be used to transfer the ownership of an asset. While these similarities exist, there are also many very substantial differences between a will and between a trust. You will need to determine which of these types of estate planning tools is right for you and how both a will and a trust can help you to take care of your assets and your heirs.
Zimmer Law Firm has extensive experience with the creation of wills and trusts. We can provide you with comprehensive advice on what your options are for making use of all estate planning tools available to you. Our Blue Ash estate planning lawyers can also guide you through drafting an enforceable last will and through creating a trust that will protect your assets. To learn more, give us a call so we can get started on creating your estate plan.
Key Differences Between Wills and Trusts
Wills are legal documents in which you can specify your last wishes. A will is going to facilitate the transfer of assets upon your death. You can also include other important information in a will, like naming someone to act as a guardian for your children.
A trust, on the other hand, is used to bifurcate ownership and use of assets and property. When you create a trust, you transfer money and property into the trust and the trust becomes the owner. A trustee is appointed to manage the trust for the beneficiaries. The trust is created in order to benefit the beneficiaries. The ownership of property and assets can be transferred into the trust during your lifetime. The trust can continue to own the property and assets after your death, or the property and assets can transfer to new owners immediately or upon certain conditions being met.
Some of the important differences between wills and trusts include the following:
- Trusts can be more complicated and expensive to create. When you draft a simple last will and testament, the process is generally relatively straightforward and there are few or no costs other than legal fees for services. When you create a trust, the process is more complicated and there may be a higher initial upfront cost. You may also have to pay fees for things like recording new deeds to transfer property into the ownership of the trust.
- Trusts can save you money in the long-run. While trusts can be more expensive to initially create, financial savings can be achieved in the long run. This is because trusts can be used to minimize or avoid taxes and because trusts can allow your loved ones to avoid the probate process.
- A will has to be probated, a trust does not. When property or assets transfer based on directions contained within your will, the executor of the estate will need to guide the will through the probate process. This can take time and your heirs may have to wait to receive their inheritance. There is also the potential that the will could be challenged during the probate process. When you transfer property and assets into a trust, it is possible for the assets to transfer outside of probate and for probate to be avoided.
- A trust can give you ongoing control. Trusts can allow you to have control of what happens to your property and assets even after you are gone. When you have a will, the property transfers to heirs and you have no further control. When you create a trust, you can have the trustee continue to manage the money and you can specify that it should be distributed to heirs only under certain conditions or only in certain amounts at a time.
- A trust can provide protection of assets. You can create a trust that will shield assets from being lost in court judgments, in the case of a divorce, or in other situations.
These are just a few of many differences that exist between wills and trusts. An attorney can explain all of the differences to you.
A Blue Ash Estate Wills and Trusts Lawyer Can Assist You
Zimmer Law Firm has a long history of helping clients in Blue Ash and surrounding areas with the creation of a comprehensive estate plan. We understand how wills and trusts are used to protect assets and care for heirs, and we work hard to make sure you have a plan that works for you and your family.
You can join us for a free seminar to learn more about how you can use wills or create trusts that will meet your needs or you can schedule a consultation and learn how we can develop a personalized plan for you. Give us a call at 513.721.1513 to learn more about how a Blue Ash wills and trusts lawyer can help you.