When it comes to planning for your family’s future, you may struggle to decide between a will and a trust. Though many people use the terms interchangeably, they represent two distinct methods of estate planning. As an experienced property attorney, Steve Butcher Sr., Esq., of Rochester, NY, has helped individuals throughout Monroe County navigate the complex world of estate planning and will creation. Here, he explains the difference between trusts and wills, so you can decide which option works best for your family.
A will is an estate planning document that takes effect when you die or are otherwise unable to consent to asset changes. This protects your assets from unauthorized distribution and ensures your wishes are carried out when you’re no longer able to make requests on your own. Though these documents can be extensive and provide detailed instructions for the distribution of property in your name, they won’t apply to anything held in joint tenancy. Anything you own with another person cannot be handled through a will, and you’ll need to speak with a property attorney to ensure your interests are protected.
A trust is utilized during your lifetime and can be continued after you pass away. With a trust, you can distribute assets to your beneficiaries as you see fit, drawing off the funds as needed with the help of a supervisory trustee. Though similar to a will, trusts cannot stipulate guardianship for your children or provide guidance on funerary requests. However, contributing to a trust may help you save money on taxes. If you’re interested in learning more about how a trust can benefit your family, contact your lawyer.
Whether you’re considering establishing a living will or looking for an attorney to help you sell your house this year, contact Steve Butcher Sr., Esq. Visit his website to learn more and call (585) 263-2444 to schedule a consultation today.