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Will vs. Trust: Which is Right for Me

Will vs. Trust: Which is Right for Me

Will vs. Trust: Which is Right for Me

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October 24, 2023

Estate planning is an important element of securing your family’s future, but the legal jargon can often feel overwhelming. Should you choose a will or a trust? What’s the difference? At Inner Vision Legal, we understand these concerns and strive to provide comprehensive, empathetic guidance to help you make informed decisions. This blog post will delve into the differences between wills and trusts, their pros and cons, and how to discern which estate planning tool might be right for you.

What Is a Will?

A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your property distributed after your death. It enables you to decide who will receive your assets, appoint a personal representative, and name a guardian for minor children. One of the key advantages of a will is its simplicity and relatively lower cost of creation.

However, a will goes through probate, a court-supervised process of distributing your estate, which can be time-consuming and costly. In Oklahoma, if you die without a will, the law provides for the distribution of your estate to your heirs as per state guidelines.

What Is a Trust?

A trust, particularly a revocable or living trust, is a written document effective while you’re alive. It allows for the management and distribution of your property outside the probate court system. The main advantages of a revocable trust over a will include avoiding probate, quicker and less costly distribution of property, and privacy since trusts aren’t public records.

However, trusts can be more complicated and expensive to set up than wills. Despite this, in some cases, a trust can be more appropriate than a will. For instance, if you have large assets, a disabled dependent, or wish to control your estate’s distribution even after death, a trust can be an ideal choice.

Will vs. Trust: Key Differences

The primary difference between a will and a trust is the time at which it takes effect. A will goes into effect only after you die, while a revocable trust takes effect as soon as it’s created. A will dictates who will take ownership of your property after your death and appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes. Conversely, a trust can distribute property before death, at death, or afterward.

Another key difference lies in the cost and time involved. While creating a will can be simpler and less expensive, its administration after death through probate can be costly and time-consuming. On the other hand, while setting up a trust can be more expensive initially, it may save time and money by avoiding probate.

Making a choice: Will or Trust?

Choosing between a will and a trust largely depends on your personal circumstances. If you have a smaller estate or simple asset distribution wishes, a will could be sufficient. However, if you have significant assets, complex distribution plans, privacy concerns, or wish to avoid probate, a trust might be more suitable.

Remember, estate planning isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, and what works best for one person might not work for another. It’s essential to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer to understand all your options and make the best decision for your unique situation.

Personalized and Compassionate Estate Planning Services

At Inner Vision Legal, we’re committed to offering personalized and compassionate legal representation to guide clients through their estate planning journey. Our holistic approach focuses on protecting your assets and ensuring that your wishes are carried out after death, minimizing negative impacts on relationships.

Ready to start your estate planning journey? Contact us today at Inner Vision Legal, serving Oklahoma City and surrounding communities. Let us help you navigate the complexities of estate planning so you can secure your family’s future with confidence.

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