A Common Misconception: Will vs Trust

The Two Components

Two components included in basic estate plans include a Last Will and Testament and a Trust. These can be used in combination with each other but can also be used separately. Our firm believes that a well-executed estate plan includes both a Last Will and Testament and a Trust.

A will is a document that specifies what a grantor wants to happen to their assets after they pass away. The will is only used for post-death planning and only goes into effect after the death of the grantor. A will on its own will not keep your assets out of probate. An expensive and timely court supervised process.

A trust is a guidebook that allows a designated trustee to hold and make decisions on assets based on the grantor’s direction. The trustee has access to assets in the trust during lifetime and after death. A trust goes into effect immediately.

Ultimate Difference

The most important difference between these two documents is that the will only handles after-death planning, and the trust handles both lifetime planning and after-death planning. A will cannot keep your assets out of probate. A trust without a will can present problems concerning assets outside of the trust that could become subject to intestacy laws. A well-executed estate plan will include both a will and a trust to maximize, in the best way possible, a grantor’s assets.

If you are interested in an estate plan to protect your assets during life and after passing, call our office at 773.779.6100 or email us at info@barrylawinc.com

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