What’s the Difference Between a Living Trust and a Living Will?

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During your estate planning process, you might come across a few new terms that you had previously never heard of. Two options that your attorney might present to you during the estate planning process are living wills and living trusts. There are key differences between these two choices, and it’s important that you know these differences in order to make the right decision for your estate plans.

How Are Living Trusts and Wills Different?

Living trusts and wills both allow you to name the beneficiaries for your property and belongings, but other than this similarity, they are used for very different reasons. A living trust is the number one way to avoid probate after your death, which is a big advantage because your beneficiary can transfer property quicker to the inheritors, all without involving the probate court. For many people, living trusts are a good option if you want to save your family time and money; however, not everyone needs a living trust, and that will depend on how wealthy you are, if you’re married, your age, etc. A living will might be a good option for you if you’d like a simpler method, and if you want some additional advantages. For example, a living trust might help you avoid probate, but it won’t allow you to name an executor or the guardians for your children like a will permits. Living wills generally give you more freedom and will help you be more detailed in your plan; even though it has to go through the probate court, you’ll know that everything you want to happen will be properly addressed.

How Do I Know Which to Choose?

First, weigh the pros and cons of each option, and depending on your personal and financial circumstances, make the right decision for you and your family. Our San Luis Obispo lawyers can help you through this entire process, and we will advise you on the right decision for your specific estate planning. Contact us today for a free consultation with our estate planning attorney.

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