Lake Tahoe Attorney Blog

26Apr, 16

Depending on the state in which you live, the difference between creating a living trust vs a will can be a confusing and frustrating question. This blog is meant to help you easily understand the differences between the two, and assist you in deciding what is better for your family at this point in your lives. 

Similarities between Wills and Trusts

At first glance a will and a trust share a lot in common. They can both incorporate your tax planning, and can minimize estate taxes that might be due when you pass away (although, do keep in mind that most estate taxes do not come into effect until an individual leaves more than 10 million dollars behind, so this will only affect the rare few). The main difference between the two is less about “what is better for me” and more about “how long will this method take to settle my estate?”

Differences between Wills and Trusts

A Will is going to require a probate proceeding before any distribution of funds can occur, and this can delay the process; a living trust will automatically allow you to bypass the probate process – this is something that is very attractive for many individuals. At first glance it can seem that a living trust is always the better option, but there are any instances in which a will is the best choice.

If your state is one of the 18 that have adopted the Uniform Probate Code, the probate process has been streamlined, made more user friendly and as a result, is more inexpensive than before. Unfortunately, Nevada is not one of these states, and as a result, anyone involved in your estate will need to undergo the probate process. This takes longer and costs more than the Living Will process, and so this may factor into your decision when it comes to what you choose for your family.

Most experts agree that if you live in state where probate has been simplified by the Uniform Probate Code, your probate will be relatively simple and fast – and you will probably be happy with just a Will. That said, if you reside in a state where probate can be costly and slow going (such as Nevada) a trust can be a far better choice for your family.

Ultimately, the only way to determine what the best option for your estate is to consult with a skilled lawyer who has experience in the field of estate planning. An experienced attorney can help you weigh out the benefits and negatives of both living trusts and wills, and can help you to decide what is best for you.

If you are unsure of what to do in regards to your own estate planning, or simply just want to have a learned professional answer your questions, call or email the team at the Law Offices of Tyler H. Fair, Esq.. We will ensure that your estate is taken care of in the most sensible, simplest and cost effective way possible.

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