Why Would My Parents’ Attorney Create A Will vs. A Trust?

Today we are talking about Wills and Trusts.  Specifically, the question is, “why would my parents' attorney create a Will instead of a Trust?”

The sole decision is that it is your parents’ decision:

The decision to create a Trust versus the decision to make a Will would solely be your parents' decision.  In other words, your parents would have consulted with an attorney, and the attorney would have sat down and given them their options.

Now sometimes people don't meet with an attorney, and they just decide on a legal tool on their own.  But if they did sit down with an attorney, the attorney would have gone over the pros and cons of each.

The Pros and Cons:

•    The first probe to a Trust over a Will be that it's easy on the family.  The trust does not require any involvement from the probate court or any third parties.

•    Somebody is identified as a Trustee.

•    The assets are owned by the Trust, and the Trustee can distribute those assets upon death.

•    Trust is preferable over a Will because the assets that are in the Trust are non-public assets.

  • Example:  If you take your house and you transfer it into the Trust and your parents passed away, then you don't have to open an estate to transfer the asset, and it remains confidential. And so ultimately, you don't know the total value of the estate being inside of the Trust.  It gives you privacy. 

•    A Trust is preferred over a Will because it is quick.

  • Example:  When your parents were to pass away, If they have a trust, all the Trustee needs to do is review the terms of the Trust.  It will give you instructions on how they distribute the assets that are in the Trust.  Then they can make the distribution.  It will take a max of thirty days versus if you have a Will.

•    If you have a Will, you are doing two things. Number one, you are guaranteeing your family is going to Probate Court.  You might wonder why your parents have made this difficult for you. Truly, the answer is your parents probably didn't know.  They didn't know the value of Trust over Will.

•    Second, a Will is a guaranteed way to go through the Probate Court.  Going with a Will is a guaranteed way to make sure your assets end up in the Probate Court.  If you pass away with the Will, then the probate court has an outline or a guide of exactly how you want your assets to be transferred.

  • Example:  Recently, we were working with a client whose wife passed away.  She left some of her children, some jewelry, and some contents of their house, and she left him everything else.  The Will specifically laid out who got what and the Probate Court had to honor it.

This is why we are here.  At Littlejohn Law, we focus on providing information so that you can be empowered to make well-informed decisions for your family.  If you are saying you don’t know what you should do, give Littlejohn Law a call at 740-346-2899.

Take advantage of our free estate planning review, where we can help you identify your goals, and determine if the plan you have in place is going to help you accomplish those goals.

Littlejohn Law, LLC
A Real Estate and Probate Law Firm
352 Main Street
Wintersville, OH  43953

And remember, “Where there's a Will, there's a way.  Where there's no Will, then there's Probate.”

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