Last Wills and Living Trusts

Last Wills and Living TrustsWhile both a last will and living trust transfer property when you die, they have different uses. It is important that you understand these differences before deciding to set up a living trust. A Bryan probate lawyer can advise you on which may be best suited for your needs.

Living Trusts and Last Wills Compared

A living trust can be much more cost-effective in the long run. This is because it allows for the avoidance of probate court, which can take a considerable amount of time and money. Initially, however, a will is much less expensive and complex to create.

Among the advantages of a living trust are:

  • Your privacy is protected in a living trust. When a will is probated it becomes a matter of public record.
  • Ownership of property in another state is a much simpler matter with a living trust, for you otherwise will have to probate the property in that state.
  • If you become incapacitated a living trust can provide for transfer of managing your affairs to another designated individual. Otherwise the matter must be taken up in court and a guardian appointed.

Living trusts also have distinct disadvantages. These include:

  • The initial cost of setting up a living trust is much greater that creating a will.
  • If at some point you wish to refinance property that is included in the living trust, you may have a difficult time doing so.
  • When you create the living trust, property that is included is no longer technically owned by you, but by the trust.
  • When you create a will, you can set up a final date after which creditors cannot bring a claim against your estate. With a living trust such a final date cannot be arranged, and therefore the trust will be left exposed to liability.
  • You are not able to arrange for guardianship of minor children in a living trust. With a will you are able to do this.

If you do decide to create a living trust, it is important that you also set up a pour over will. This document will arrange for the disposition of any property that is not included in the living trust.

For Questions or Legal Assistance

It may be in your best interests to work with a Bryan probate lawyer when setting up a living trust or will. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.

About Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is an attorney and the owner and founder of Peterson Law Group, a Texas law firm with offices in Bryan/College Station and Kingwood. He mainly practices in the areas of Estate Planning and Business Planning. Chris is also a Certified Estate Planner. Besides his law practice, Chris is a serial entrepreneur and community volunteer. He is known for his cutting edge law practice that utilizes technology to deliver efficient, excellent work.