Do you need a will or a trust? When people create an estate plan, they will likely include both. And people can have multiple trusts. An estate plan is the culmination of documents that you make. Each one serves a purpose.
A skilled attorney will build your estate plan using one of these documents as the foundation. Before establishing what each can do for you, remember that a will goes into effect after you pass away. A trust is effective as soon as it is created (and when assets are in it). Putting assets into a trust is called funding.
A will does not have to be funded. It is merely a statement of your wishes and how they will be honored when you pass away. Young couples, especially ones who have begun building a family, create a will.
This is because a will allows them to choose a guardian for their children. Couples usually create these together. Knowing this, it is a good idea to have this conversation with your spouse. And it may be challenging to have. Things to consider when choosing a guardian:
You and your spouse have raised your children together with a shared set of values. Who do you know that mirrors them? And you might have two different opinions about who is the right fit. If so, consider where your choices of guardians live. It may help to have one located near or around your extended family. Lastly, think about what they do for work and their stability with their job and home.
You cannot be expected to know their financial situation. And you won’t know from being around them. Take the time to sit down with the person you and your spouse choose and tell him, her, or them about the possibility of becoming a guardian to your children. There’s nothing wrong with asking them if they are willing to accept that level of responsibility.
A will enables you to determine who will receive your assets as well. However, it needs to be noted that wills pass through probate.
When the probate court determines that you have a legally valid will, they can appoint an executor. An executor assumes responsibility for paying your remaining debt. If you are uncomfortable with this, choose an executor and name him or her in your will. And much like your guardian, you can ask someone if they are willing to take on being an executor.
Protecting your family includes planning for the possibility that you may not be there to take care of them. Contact the Carroll Law Office to schedule your free consultation if you are ready to create an estate plan. We make the complexities of estate planning manageable and straightforward.
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