Are trusts better than wills?

| Jan 11, 2019 | Trusts |

Trusts and wills are legal instruments used in Georgia for estate planning purposes. Neither one is better than the other. They are simply different. A will acts as a guide for handling a person’s estate after he or she dies. For instance, a will might specify how to dispose of property and provide for the care of minor children.

On the other hand, a trust is a legal entity that can provide certain benefits during a person’s lifetime as well as after his or her death. One of these benefits is that a trust can own property. This makes it possible for a person to create a trust, put his or her assets into it and then act as trustee. While that individual is alive, there is very little change in how the assets are handled. For example, a home owned by the trust that needs to be sold can be sold by the trustee.

One of the major differences between a trust and a will is related to the probate process that follows a person’s death. In most cases, a will has to be presented to a court, and a representative has to be appointed to carry out the instructions contained in the will. However, probate can often be avoided through the use of a trust. Another advantage of a trust is that a successor trustee can step in and manage the trust in case the original trustee becomes incapacitated.

Wills and trusts are legal instruments that require careful planning in order to accomplish the goals of the creator. To make sure that a person has the proper documents in place, it is usually a good idea for him or her to sit down with an estate planning attorney who has experience in both trusts and wills.