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What is The Difference Between a Trust and a Will
Trusts and wills are distinct estate planning tools, and each can play a specific role in upholding your wishes regarding your financial legacy. Many people are confused about how trusts and wills differ from one another, and having a better understanding of the distinctions can help you better address your own estate planning needs. One of the most important steps you can take on your estate planning journey is retaining the skilled legal guidance of an experienced Tampa estate planning attorney.
How Wills and Trusts Are Similar
Wills and trusts are similar in that they both provide a means of protecting your legacy and ensuring that your assets flow to your loved ones according to your wishes while limiting any tax implications they may experience in the process. Each, however, has its own unique applications.
The Role Your Will Serve
You create your will during your lifetime, and it goes into effect at the time of your death. You can rip your will up and start again or modify it at any time – and as many times – as you’d like. The primary matters addressed in your will are likely to include the following:
- Naming a guardian for your minor children
- Addressing those assets that aren’t covered in a trust, which often means those assets acquired since the time of the trust’s creation or those assets that simply aren’t addressed elsewhere
Your will proceeds through probate at the time of your death, which is a complex legal process that guides the execution of these legal documents. The probate process considerably slows the flow of assets from you to those you’ve chosen to receive them. Further, a will can be contested, which can make an already legally challenging matter that much more so. Without a will, however, anything that isn’t addressed directly in a trust will be distributed according to Florida’s laws of intestacy – rather than according to your wishes.
The Role Trusts Serve
Trusts are often created in tandem with wills because they work well together. Trusts go into effect upon their creation, and they contain whatever principal – or assets – the grantor or person to whom the trust belongs includes. The revocable trust is the most common, and all the following apply:
- It’s created during the grantor’s lifetime and is designed to address their needs in the event of incapacitation and to avoid probate upon death.
- While trusts are overseen by trustees, the grantor can be the trustee of their own revocable trust.
- The grantor can modify or terminate a revocable trust at any time and has open access to the assets included.
Turn to an Experienced Tampa Estate Planning Attorney for the Help You Need Today
The esteemed Tampa estate planning attorneys at Mickey Keenan P.A. recognize the importance of your estate planning efforts and, in response, dedicate their practice to helping clients like you protect their financial legacies – in loving support of their families. Your peace of mind is our priority, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call 813-737-7148 for more information today.