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What Is the Difference Between a Family Trust and a Will?


Wills and trusts are two very different types of controlling and distributing your assets after you’ve passed away. One important distinction between a trust and a will is that you can also create and fund a trust while you are alive. With no will in place the state determines what happens to your estate and everything that you owned while you were alive.

This is known as the rules of intestate succession and it might not match your individual preferences for the transfer of your estate. A will allows you to specify who you want your assets to go to. Trusts allow the person creating the trust, also known as the grantor, to do mostly whatever they want with assets with some limitations. The primary benefits of doing this are that a trust avoids the probate process.

Generally speaking trusts can be used for any family and amount of wealth but are very popular with those individuals and families who have greater than $2 million in assets so that they are able to keep the matters of their estate private. For more information about creating your own estate plan, now is the perfect time to review whether or not your plan is in line with state and federal laws and to meet with an accomplished estate planning attorney to discuss your next steps.

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