Wills and Trusts Frequently Asked Questions

Wills and Trusts FAQsWhat is a Will?  A Will is a legal paper that states who receives your property/assets when you die.  The Will names a “Personal Representative” to be in charge of your estate.

What if I die without a Will?  Every State has its own laws concerning who specifically would receive your Property/assets, however it is typically some variation of your close relatives and can be affected by whether you are married and/or have children from that marriage. 

 

Why is it better to have a Will than to die intestate (with no will)?  

  • You can nominate a guardian for your minor children in a Will.
  • You can determine who gets your property/assets in a Will.
  • You can make anatomical gifts in a Will.
  • You can waive bond requirements and allow for independent administration in a Will (this makes Probate Court faster, less expensive and easier).
  • You can exercise control and protection in a Will that may work with a Trust for minor children, disabled persons, your family and other beneficiaries.

 

Why I should consider making a Trust in addition to a Will?

  • Assets controlled by the Trust will avoid the time and expense of the Probate Court process.
  • A Trust affords privacy concerning property transfers, whereas a Will admitted to Probate becomes a public record.
  • A Trust may reduce overall estate tax payments and/or help to provide a tax advantage over several generations.
  • A Trust may protect assets from creditors and judgments, including creditors and judgments of the beneficiaries.
  • A Trust offers more control and flexibility for transferring property/assets in situations involving children from a prior marriage, blended families, adopted and step-children, persons with special needs, etc.  

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