Wills vs. Trusts: What You Need to Know

When you start planning for your future, you know you want to have some sort of estate plan in place. You’ve probably heard of Wills and trusts, but you might not know exactly what they are. It’s important to understand what these documents are and what they do so you can choose the one that works best for you and your needs. Here’s what you need to know about Wills and trusts in order to make sure you create the correct document for your estate plan.

What Are Wills?

A Will is a legal document that describes how you’d like your affairs handled and property distributed after you pass away. You will want to have help from a lawyer with estate planning experience to ensure that your document is as thorough as possible. By working with a lawyer, you can address issues you may not have considered. For example, if you have a potential beneficiary who has special needs (such as a disabled child), your Will can contain instructions to your executor to make sure such a beneficiary is taken care of according to your wishes and also to make sure that such a beneficiary will not lose any government benefits because of your request. By working with a lawyer, you can make decisions for this and other potential situations.

With a will, your estate goes through probate after you pass away. Probate is the process whereby the executor named in your Will is legally appointed by the Register of Wills.

What Are Trusts?

Similar to a Will, a trust is a legal document that describes how you’d like your affairs handled and your assets distributed after you pass away. Although these documents are similar, there are differences.

The biggest difference is that a trust avoids probate. This means that the Register of Wills is not involved in handling your estate. The trustee of the trust performs the same duties as an executor under a Will. In other ways, Wills and trusts are similar. The executor or trustee both pay all outstanding debts of the estate, pay any death taxes, such as inheritance tax, that are due, and distribute estate assets to your beneficiaries.

Make sure to have help from a qualified lawyer to help you create your Will or your trust. By working with a lawyer, you will ensure you address all of your goals.

Do You Have Questions about Wills or Trusts?

If you still have questions about Wills or trusts, we are ready to help. Give us a call at 610.446.9626 or contact us online to ask any questions you may have. Whether you need to create a new Will or trust or amend an already existing legal document, Levandowski & Darpino can help. Contact us today!

The following two tabs change content below.

Levandowski & Darpino

Levandowski & Darpino, LLC has been dedicated to helping people in Southeastern Pennsylvania with their Elder Law needs for over 20 years. You will receive nothing but knowledgeable, compassionate legal guidance and representation from Henry and Maria.

Latest posts by Levandowski & Darpino (see all)

%d bloggers like this: