Wills and Living Trusts are devices that you are able to use to provide for the distribution of your estate upon your death. Deciding whether a Will or Living Trust best fits your needs depends on your circumstances. A Living Trust is a popular alternative to the traditional Will in that a trust remains private, works during both incapacity and death, and offers greater protection for you and your loved ones.
With a Will as your estate planning vehicle you will be subject to probate proceedings. If you have real estate in more than one state this will require multiple probates to be opened, which means more cost and time and publicity of your personal affairs. With a Living Trust there are no probate proceedings. If you have real estate in multiple states a Living Trust will avoid the necessity of opening multiple probates, as it will hold title to all of your assets, no matter what state they are in.
The initial cost of a Living Trust is usually more than a Will, but it will save you more when it is all said and done by keeping you out of probate.
Contributed by MH Arrowhead, Scottsdale and Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, David T. Eastman.
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This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.