We all work for our money and do our best to make smart choices that will affect our loved ones positively after we pass, and it’s only natural to want some type of control over said assets (or at least what happens to them). It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived modestly your entire life, though. Having a strategy so that your assets are protected and distributed just the way you want should be a top priority. At Barrera, Sanchez & Associates, P.C., we’ll do our best to help you figure out if a living trust is the most practical solution or if a will is better suited.
A will is a document (witnessed and signed) that dictates what will happen to or how your property will be distributed after your death. The great news is that you can amend a will as much as you like, and it also allows you to choose a guardian to look over your children. It’s very important to know, though, that the most recent draft of a will may be considered official unless it is signed and witnessed. Also remember that if you die without a will, a court will decide what becomes of your assets.
Think of a living trust as property management. If you’re currently your own trustee, a living trust will choose a successor when you pass on or if you become incapacitated due to a car accident, terminal illness, etc. A living trust can also help manage your property and bills if you aren’t able to do so yourself, and a court’s intervention is not needed, which makes the inconvenience of a court supervised estate plan a thing of the past. When you’ve planned your trust accordingly, you can:
- Stop your private matters from becoming public.
- Control what happens to your property after you pass.
- Plan a strategy if you know that you’ll soon become incapacitated.
- Avoid probate.
Trusts Over Wills
Trusts and wills both have their own benefits and drawbacks. A trust has many advantages but will also involve more funds and effort to execute. When considering a trust over a will, consider the following:
- A trust can help you place provisions when your children are entitled to your assets.
- There are certain circumstances where people who you’ve left assets to will require limited control over how they use them. A will does not let you exercise much control over how these recipients will use money or the property you’ve left to them.
- A trust is typically a good option when you have assets that can be transferred into them, like a business.
Deciding Which is Best for You
In many circumstances, a living will and trust accomplish the same results. A trust can give you more flexibility over a will, yet, most of these advantages can come with a price. Always keep in mind that all of the advantages a living will provides will depend on how you plan to use them and if they’re worth the cost. Always keep the needs of your family at the forefront because what’s right for one person may not be right for everyone.
Helping You Decide
Coming to the realization that someday you’ll pass away and your assets will need to be distributed accordingly is something many of us don’t look forward to. However, it’s something that should be done nonetheless to prevent family squabbles or having a court decide what becomes of your prized possessions. Our probate lawyers in McAllen can help you decide which route to take. Contact us today to get started!