Choosing the Best Option for Your Estate Plan
When crafting an estate plan, one of the larger decisions you will need to make is whether to have a will or a trust as part of your plan. Choosing the best option ultimately means knowing the major components of each and how they differ from each other. Here is what you need to know.
A will outlines how you wish for your assets to be distributed upon your passing and is perhaps the item most associated with estate planning. You can also use a will to name a guardian of your children, how you wish for your estate to be handled in probate, and who you wish to be named in charge of your estate for probate purposes.
The person you name in charge of your estate in your will is the executor; the executor is responsible for working with the probate court to settle the estate and ensure assets are distributed according to your wishes.
A will works well with estates that are primarily composed of “probate assets” such as personal property, titled property (such as real estate or vehicles), and any financial asset without a payable on death designation. Other assets, or non-probate assets, must be distributed in other ways.
A trust works similarly to a will in that it outlines your wishes for asset distribution. With a trust, you essentially create an account that your assets are transferred to and name a person who controls the assets (known as trustees). Trusts, unlike wills, are active upon their creation.
The main reason why some choose trusts over wills is that trusts do not pass through the probate process and, therefore, enable families to have more privacy over their affairs. Trusts can be used to complement wills in certain situations, and trusts are often used in larger estates.
Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney for Advice
To best determine whether a will or a trust is best for you, you should consult with an estate planning attorney who understands Texas estate planning guidelines and can provide you with the best course of action. At Burrows Law Group, our team can help you create an estate plan that meets your needs and the needs of your family; whether you include a will, a trust, or a combination of the two, we will work to help you achieve the best solution for your estate plan.
Learn more about estate planning in Texas or schedule your consultation by calling us at (972) 236-7798 or by visiting our website.