You might have heard of trusts or trust funds before, but there are often a lot of misconceptions that surround this fundamental estate planning document and process. Contrary to popular belief, trusts aren’t reserved for ultra-wealthy individuals. In fact, trusts are a significant tool for anyone to plan for the future, especially in the event that they are incapacitated, have children or for when they pass away. You can find out more about the difference between a trust and a will, the different types of trusts, and the process on this webpage, but your best resource throughout the estate planning process is an experienced Tempe Trust Lawyer who can take your needs and plans and translate them into a durable and cohesive document for you and your family. Contact a knowledgeable trusts and estate attorney today.
What is the Difference between a Trust and a Will?
Since wills and trusts both handle the distribution of assets after an individual passes away, it’s very easy to mix them up.
A will is a document that sums up an individual’s assets, establishes guardians for any minors (should the need arise), determines how a person’s belongings are distributed after they pass away, and only becomes active upon the death of the will’s creator. Wills are also public record, as they go through an institution known as “probate court,” which handles issues such as asset management after a person’s passing away. As a result of their public status, wills can be also tend to be easier to challenge.
A trust is another tool that establishes a person’s assets and distribution, but, unlike a will, many times would not require families to have to through the probate court process. Furthermore, trusts tend to become active upon a person’s signing of it, rather than in the event of the creator’s demise. Trusts are also private documents, which means that they do not undergo probate court, making them harder to challenge.
However, this isn’t to say that one is necessarily better than the other. Each serves different purposes, which is generally why estate plans include both to make sure that as many bases are covered. A well-versed lawyer in Tempe could explain the differences between a trust and a will.
Revocable Trust versus Irrevocable Trust
Though the terms may sound complicated, the difference is right in the name. A revocable trust is a document that the creator of the trust can “revoke,” or alter the terms of, at any given time with or without the consent of those who may receive money or property under the terms of the trust. So, as a person gains money or property throughout their lifetime, they can list any associated bank accounts or deeds under the trust as they acquire such things. An irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be changed after it is signed, unless there are extraordinary circumstances at play. In fact, a revocable trust becomes irrevocable as soon as its creator passes away. The main benefit of an irrevocable trust is that anything under the irrevocable trust is not a part of the person’s taxable estate upon their death.
Call the Tempe Attorneys at the Law Offices of Brandon White about Trusts
As you can see, a trust is a key part of a person’s estate planning process, and having an attorney on your side to cover as many provisions as possible and plan to protect as many assets as possible when you aren’t able to is vital. Contact the experienced Tempe Trust Lawyers at the Law Offices of Brandon White today for a planning session for you and your trust.