Wills and Trusts Attorney Explains the Difference Between the Two
Wills and trusts serve very similar functions, so it’s common that people get them confused. Both pertain to the distribution of a person’s assets to friends and relatives. But the differences between the two are much greater than their similarities, so it’s important to understand the specific functions of each. Anyone looking to learn more about wills and trusts can seek the aid of a wills and trusts attorney. Today, the Davidson Law Group offers the expertise of its wills and trusts attorney to provide you with some basic information about each to help you distinguish between the two.
The first and most important thing to know about a will, which many people already do, is that a will takes effect upon death. The will goes to probate court which will assess the validity of the will, field any objections to its stipulations, and, unless the will names an executor, the court will oversee the distribution of assets. A will also names beneficiaries, who are the people who will receive the assets of the deceased according to his/her wishes.
Written wills may also select an executor. The executor is someone who will oversee that the will is carried out according to the specifications of the deceased. Executors are typically family or close friends of the family. In the event that someone has not prepared a will, they will be considered “intestate” upon death. Unfortunately, when a person dies intestate, a court will handle the distribution of their assets. The court will name an administrator who will handle the distribution, and the beneficiary claims process becomes more complex.
Another significant danger of dying intestate is that the court will name a guardian for any minor children. This can become a major problem for families already destabilized by the passing of a loved one. A wills and trusts attorney would advise that anyone with children set out some kind of will to designate a guardian or guardians in the event of an untimely, fatal accident.
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Whereas the will is a document written and signed by its author and witnesses, the trust is a bit different. Trusts, as a wills and trusts attorney will tell you, are a legal relationship between a grantor, a trustee, and one or more beneficiaries.
A very significant difference between a trust and a will is that a trust can take effect will the grantor is still alive. This means that a person can begin distributing his or her assets whenever he or she wishes.
Also, trusts do not go through probate, the court which oversees the process of executing a will. Trusts retain the grantor’s property and assets as soon as he/she designates them, and they continue to retain those assets after the death of the grantor.
There are a variety of trusts available to a grantor, some of which allow the grantor to move assets in and out of the trust while other trusts are set as soon as they are made. To figure out the finer points, it’s best to speak with a wills and trusts attorney.
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Free Consultation with a Wills and Trusts Attorney at Davidson Law Group
This is a quick rundown of the differences between wills and trusts. There are different kinds of wills and different kinds of trusts, all of which are best suited for different situations. For more information on either and which may be right for you, contact our wills and trusts attorneys in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler today.