When making estate planning decisions, many people might wonder whether a will or trust is better. However, these are different tools for estate planning and are often needed together to ensure one’s wishes are met after passing away. Florida residents might like to know more about using wills and trusts when estate planning.
Most estates typically rely on one tool more than the other when having both a will and trust, so it may seem like the document used less is not necessary. Depending on a grantor’s needs, one or both tools might be necessary.
One reason to have both a will and a trust is that the former can act as a safeguard. This is necessary in cases where a trust exists but not all assets have been put in the trust. Deeds, titles, and other assets must be put in a trust’s name to make the rules of the trust apply to the property. This makes the trust the owner of any property given to it, and a grantor acts as a trustee of the property while alive. Upon passing, a successor trustee can access the trust and distribute property to heirs.
Some people prefer to use wills instead of a trust because wills are usually less expensive and are also arguably more convenient. This is because a person’s belongings are automatically part of an estate and subject to the terms of a will when the person dies.
Trusts can sometimes require more effort than a will but also provide specific benefits. For example, trusts are not part of the probate process and could give a grantor more control over how assets are distributed. An attorney might be consulted when wondering whether a trust is needed or when ensuring that a trust complies with state laws.