Estate planning is crucial if you want to have control over what happens to your assets and property after you pass away. Fortunately, there are different ways to make these plans a reality. To help take out the guesswork from it, in the below post, we will go over two of these options – a Last Will and Testament and a trust – and help you decide which one is best for you and your circumstances. 

will vs. trust

What Exactly Is a Will

Will is a document that directs the distribution of your property and assets after you pass away. This legal document can also include instructions for matters that will require decisions after your death, including the appointment of guardians for your minor children and the appointment of an executor.  

However, while creating a Will is typically a straightforward process, there are some drawbacks to this legal document. For example, a Will tends to offer somewhat of a limited control over the distribution of a person’s assets. The Will may also have to go through some type of probate process after the creator passes away, which can be a lengthy and confusing ordeal for your loved ones.

What Does It Mean To Have a Trust

trust is a legal arrangement that provides for the transfer of an owner’s assets to another individual, also referred to as the trustee. The document sets the terms for the trustee’s management of the assets, for distributions to one or more designated individuals, and for the disposition of the assets. While a Will goes into effect upon the creator’s death, a trust will go into effect as soon as they are signed.

Which Option Is Better for Me?

Although a Will and a trust are both estate planning documents that provide you with more control of what will happen to your property, assets, and even custody of your children after you pass away, each plan has its own advantages. For instance, individuals often choose to create trust when they:

  • Own a business
  • Have a complex or large estate
  • Want the transfer of their assets to be private
  • Want to distribute assets or property before their death
  • Want to minimize or avoid probate entirely

However, to ensure there are no gaps in an estate plan, some individuals decide to make both a Will and a trust. If you want to know if this is the right option for you, consider discussing the matter with an experienced Northern Virginia estate planning lawyer. 

Contact Ardent Guardian Today To Learn More About Your Options

At Ardent Guardian, we offer clients specific packages that are tailored to their legal needs at prices that work for them. Some of the services we provide include estate and trust administration help, trust accounting, court accounting, and trustee services.

If you would like further information about any of these services or want more details about creating a Will or a trust, contact our legal team today to find out how our firm can help you.

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