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Wills vs. Trusts: What Are the Differences?

estate planning new york

Throughout your life, you accumulate assets, wealth, and belongings. Ensuring these valuables are taken care of according to your wishes is essential to obtaining peace of mind. Luckily, there are documents you can set up to support your loved ones while alive and after passing. Understanding the differences between wills vs. trusts is crucial to guarantee you set up the correct documents with a Rockland County wills, trusts & estates attorney.

Wills vs. Trusts: A Brief Overview

Though many people know that a will can give their money to their loved ones after they have passed, they may not understand the extent of a will. While yes, this document can help distribute your wealth, it can also dictate what you would like your final arrangements to be and who will get specific items or assets.

While a will only takes effect after you have passed, a trust can help support your loved ones from the moment it is created. However, a trust can be a bit more complicated to understand. In simple terms, setting up a trust involves three parties – the trustor, a trustee, and a beneficiary.

The trustor grants the power of wealth to the trustee, who manages the assets of the trustor according to a set of guidelines for a beneficiary.

Which Is More Important?

Generally speaking, a will is one of the most essential documents a person will create in their lifetime. This document is a legally binding piece of paper that explains what you would like to happen to your estate after you pass. Failure to complete this document grants New York control of your estate, meaning the only people who will receive your assets are legally recognized bloodline descendants and your spouse.

However, the importance of a will does not negate the necessity others may experience in creating a trust for their loved ones. A trust also ensures that the guidelines for managing your wealth are taken care of properly after you pass. Similarly, your beneficiaries will not have to go through the probate process after your death for the wealth included in the trust. This ensures they can reap the full benefits of the assets included in the will

Trusts and wills are necessary to ensure that the wealth you accumulated throughout your lifetime is taken care of according to your wishes.

How Do I Create These Documents?

Though setting up a will or trust may seem as simple as typing up a quick document and signing it, the process is much more involved. Generally, you’ll need to ensure that you speak with an attorney to guarantee these documents are valid and legally binding. Creating an invalid will puts you at risk for intestacy, meaning your wishes may not be granted, and relatives can gain access to your wealth even if they are estranged.

In order to protect your estate, you’ll want to ensure you contact our Rockland offices to set up an appointment. We can help you create a will or trust according to your needs.

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