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Wills vs. Trusts: What’s The Difference?

Both a will and trust are essential to protecting your loved ones – and we suggest having both. Whether you’re new to the estate planning process or you’re just here for some clarification, our legal team wants to help you understand the difference between wills and trusts in the simplest way possible. 

What Are They?

A will is a document that specifically addresses how you want your assets and affairs handled after you pass away. While there are different types of wills, each will lays out how your property and assets will be divided, names a guardian for any minors, and lists the executor or personal representative. 

A trust is another way to transfer your estate after you pass, especially if you wish not to have assets pass through probate. While there are different types of trusts that can fit your goals, in most cases a living revocable trust is the most common type of trust chosen because it can be altered by the person who established the trust. 

What’s The Difference?

What comes down to making these different are the times these documents are upheld. While a will is upheld after a person passes, a trust becomes the legal owner of your asset the moment it’s created. In contrast, a will has no power when it comes to who receives a living trust’s assets, such as cash, equities, bonds, real estate, and jewelry. In most cases, when there is little to no conflict, a trust will take precedence over a will. 

In a scenario where a person doesn’t have a will or trust, their assets are distributed by the state laws where they lived. Many times this can cause conflict between the loved ones left behind. Overall, our Myrtle Beach law firm can help you create an estate plan that’s exactly how you want it. Whether you’re ready to start estate planning or you have a few questions, our staff would be more than happy to help! Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 843.492.5422, or click here to contact us!

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