What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

At the end of a long life, an individual usually finds themselves with some cherished assets. These are things that should continue to be taken care of even when their life is over. In order to do so, an individual can create an estate plan. An estate plan allows an individual to prepare for what happens to their assets when their life is over. This can include assets such as real estate, bank accounts, securities, and personal items. There are many ways to set up an estate plan, two of which are writing a will or creating a trust. An experienced attorney can guide an individual through creating a will that is best for them and their loved ones.

What is a Will?

When an estate plan is created, people sometimes choose to write a will. This is a legal document that allows an individual to plan for what happens to their assets after they pass away. Having a will can prevent any concerns or worries about what would happen to these assets if they were to be left unmanaged. In addition to this, a will makes sure a person’s belongings end up in the hands of the people that they choose. This can avoid any possible conflicts between loved ones disagreeing over where and to whom they believe the assets belong.

If an individual passes away without a will, it is called dying “intestate.” This means their assets are given to and can be distributed by the state of Alabama. In the event of this, the state typically follows a schedule of succession to determine who the assets belong to. These decisions are based on their relation to the deceased. Dying intestate may also result in disputes between loved ones as they may disagree over where they believe the assets belong.

What is a Trust?

Another way to manage your assets in an estate plan is through the creation of a trust. A trust is a contract between the estate and a trustee. A trustee is a person who manages a trust for the individual who benefits from it, who is also known as a beneficiary. This arrangement allows a trustee to hold the assets on behalf of the beneficiary.

There are certain benefits to setting up a trust instead of other estate options. Trusts avoid probate, making it possible for a beneficiary to gain access to the assets sooner than they would with a will. It also allows a trustor, the owner of the estate, the opportunity to control their wealth by deciding who the assets will belong to. There are several different types of trusts that may be created in Alabama. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Revocable Trust
  • Irrevocable Trust
  • Asset Protection Trust
  • Inter Vivos Trust
  • Life Insurance Trust
  • Testamentary Trust
  • Special Needs Trust
  • Supplemental Needs Trust
  • Generation-Skipping Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder and Charitable Leads Trusts

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is interested in creating an estate plan and is seeking legal counsel, contact the Law Offices of Stone Crosby, P.C. today.

Stone Crosby, P.C. has proudly served clients in Alabama for over 100 years. Our firm has experience handling matters including divorce and family law, estate planning and administration, business law, employment law, class actions, consumer protection, business law, real estate law, among many others. If you require quality legal representation, contact our firmtoday to schedule a consultation.

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