Estate planning is a very broad—and sometimes confusing—topic. There are countless options available to those looking to begin planning their estate, and it might be difficult to figure out which option is the best for you. Today, our estate planning lawyer in Hernando County, FL, is going to look at the differences between two of the most well-known estate planning options: wills and trusts.
While there are some similarities between a will and a trust, it is crucial to understand their differences to ensure you are picking the right option for your needs. Here are some of the differences you should know about:
Wills Are Subject to Probate – A will must be probated after your death to be effective. On the other hand, a fully funded trust can eliminate the need to probate your estate. This is because a trust does not cease to exist when you die and can be passed on to your beneficiaries without needing court approval.
Trusts Distribute Faster – Since a will has to go through probate, it usually won’t be distributed for at least 6-12 months after your death. It isn’t uncommon to see the probate process take upwards of two years to complete, either. Trusts are often distributed within 30-60 days.
Wills Take Effect After Your Death, Trusts Take Effect Right Now – If you find yourself in a medical situation, such as a coma, where you are still alive but unable to function, your will is not available to assist you since it will only go into effect after you have passed. A trust, however, will be effective immediately upon signing, which will help your family get the funds faster.