A trust lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana can make all the difference if you’re trying to protect your assets and leave a lasting legacy for your family and friends. If you’ve spent any time at all planning out what should happen to your estate after your death, you’ve probably heard of wills and trusts before. But do you understand the difference?
On the surface, wills and trusts are very similar: They exist so your loved ones know what to do with your estate after you die. Wills and trusts are useful tools if you want to give certain assets to certain family members, and they provide some much-needed peace of mind for you and your family. However, when you take time to compare these two options, you’ll find plenty of differences.
When you decide to plan out your estate, it’s a good idea to have an Indianapolis, IN trust lawyer at your side throughout the process. But in the meantime, you can read on to decide which option between wills and trusts would be best for you:
What is a Will?
A will is a comprehensive list that details all of your assets and all of your beneficiaries. The contents of a will can be divided between family members and other beneficiaries, but it’s a bit of a challenge. Leaving behind a will means your family has a valuable guide to your estate and how it should be divided, but it also means probate court.
Probate is a lengthy and frustrating process. It involves tracking down each of your assets and having them appraised for value, and then paying off hefty estate taxes before finally, finally distributing what’s left over across your beneficiaries. It’s a long road for your family to follow, and right from the start, there’s plenty of potential for arguing and infighting.
Unfortunately, before your loved ones can even start looking for your assets, the court will appoint an executor to manage the whole process (if you haven’t named one in the will). The executor should be someone you trust, but it’s possible for other parties to contest the executor as well. This is especially complicated if you think there are any vindictive ex-spouses or estranged family members who might want to come out of the woodwork for a slice of your pie.
However, a will is easy to write up, and once you’ve established a will it’s out of your hair. When you consider a will, you’re setting yourself up for a relatively straightforward estate management plan, but your loved ones might struggle after your death. A living trust is the other way around.
What is a Living Trust?
Like a will, a trust (also called a living trust) provides instructions for the division of your estate. However, a living trust is a bit more complex and requires constant management throughout your lifetime, but many people agree that the extra management is worth it.
Unlike a will, when you establish a living trust, you’re naming a third party to handle your estate after you die. A living trust means no probate court, and and assigns assets to each beneficiary with no room for debate or negotiation. While trusts are complicated and expensive to set up, they save your family and your other beneficiaries a major headache after your death.
Contact Dickmann Reason Bogigian & White Today
Choosing how to plan your estate can be overwhelming and confusing. Fortunately, at Dickmann Reason Bogigian & White, we understand the need to leave your family and friends with a solid plan after your death, and we know how to help you navigate your way to a satisfactory estate plan.
If you need a trust lawyer in Indianapolis, IN – or if you just need more information about wills, trusts, and how to plan your future – reach out to us today to learn more.