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Is a trust better than a will?

We have talked on this blog about how an estate plan isn't just one document that contains all of the procedures and steps for handling your estate. To the contrary, your estate plan is made up of many documents that consist of many different elements that are under the estate plan umbrella. Wills, trusts, a Life Care Plan and other financial factors come into play in an estate plan. Knowing how all these things function together and ensuring that they are properly coordinated and executed is what having an estate plan is all about.

With that in mind, an interesting article caught our attention recently: is it better to have a trust than it is to have a will?

There is no easy answer to that question because every individual and every estate is going to be a little bit different. It all depends on the circumstances of the person or people involved. A will can certainly provide some crucial protections to the estate in question. However, a trust is often described as having advantages over the will because a trust skips the probate process. This allows the family to settle the estate in a more efficient manner, while also saving money on taxes and other financial factors that come into play during probate.

Remember that you must name a trustee when you establish a trust. This is obviously a major decision and it should not be made flippantly. The trustee will manage your trust -- and all the money and assets it contains.

Source: TIME, "Why This Estate Planning Tool Beats Just Having a Will," Kerri Anne Renzulli, Oct. 6, 2014

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