If an individual desires to have control over the distribution of their assets after they die, estate planning is the key to ensure that they, and not someone else, will be in charge of that decision.
Your specific financial circumstances play a major role in determining whether you should write a Will or set up a Trust.
The Pros of Writing a Will Include:
- Simple to draft
- Takes very little time
- Any competent adult may write and sign a Will making it legally binding
- Provides instructions as to the person designated to oversee the distribution of all personal property/assets
- Provides instructions designating who will receive personal property/assets
The Cons of Writing a Will Include:
- Wills must be probated requiring the designated representative to request the court to open up the deceased person’s estate, and provide an inventory of the property of the deceased to the court.
- Wills become public records which gives more opportunity for them to be contested
- Allows decedents to designate who will become guardian(s) of their dependent children
The Pros of a Living Trust Include:
- Avoids probate
- Does not become public record
- Allows decedent’s assets to be distributed immediately
- Inventory of decedent’s property is not submitted to the court
The Cons of a Living Trust Include:
- Expensive to set up
- Expensive to maintain
- Legal titles are signed over to the trust
- Does not allow decedents to designate legal guardians for any dependent survivors. This must be done in a Will.
Robert R. Robles, OKC Estate Planning Attorney, has assisted hundreds of clients in determining how their property should be dispersed upon their death, and whether their estate planning should include a Will or a Trust, or both. Contact Robert R. Robles today for a consultation.