Pros & Cons: Wills vs. Trusts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you wondered which might be more appropriate for you; a #Will or a #Revocable Living Trust?  Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

WILL PROS:

  • A Will appoints your executor and lists your beneficiaries.
  • In a Will, your investments/assets can remain titled in your name.
  • A Will designates how your assets are to be distributed.
  • A Will is less expensive than a Trust and can be easily set up.
  • If minor children are involved, a Will appoints a guardian.

 

WILL CONS:

  • There are #probate fees.  In PA the fees range between $200 to $1,000 depending on the size of the estate.  However, PA probate, compared to other states, is normally easier.
  • Since everything needs to be court approved, it can be a long drawn out procedure.
  • There is a lack a privacy with a Will.  A Will is submitted to the Register of Wills in the proper county.  Anyone can submit a request to the Register of Wills to see a copy.

 

TRUST PROS:

  • A Trust will protect your heirs for creditors, particularly any divorcing spouses.
  • A Trust can carry your assets through the generations because it directs when and how your beneficiaries will receive their inheritance.
  • A Trust is private; it is not a public document.
  • At the time of death, the designated successor trustee receives full control over the Trust to distribute the estate as set forth in the Trust.
  • Trusts can accomplish a specific purpose; for a relative’s education, to a favorite charity or to guard against an heir’s reckless spending.

 

TRUST CONS:

  • A Trust is more expensive that a Will.
  • Assets in the Trust need to be retitled to conform to the name of the Trust.
  • A Trust is tedious to create, taking both more time and effort.
  • Guardians cannot be appointed in a Trust.

This is an important subject and the above is by no means a comprehensive list of all that is available to you in either a Will or a Trust.  Speaking to an experienced Wills and Trust attorney is more than likely an essential step to take in this process.

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