By: Dustin Humphrey
How do you prepare for the future? Do you need a will or a trust? There are so many options these days it can often become overwhelming. Our team at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson and Humphrey wants to provide you with a basic breakdown between these two common estate-planning devices.
What is a Will?
A will is a written document that is signed and witnessed and indicates how your property will be distributed at the time of your death. It is revocable and subject to amendment at any time during your lifetime. A will also allows you to appoint a guardian for your minor children.
What is a Living Trust?
Simply put, a living trust provides lifetime and after-death property management. Your property is placed into a trust and a trustee controls the trust. The trustee can be your, your spouse, or another person or entity. If you are serving as your own trustee, the trust instrument will provide for a successor upon your death or incapacity. Court intervention is not required to establish a living trust.
Living trusts also are used to manage property. If you become disabled, the trustee can manage the trust property. As a result, the expense and inconvenience of court-supervised distribution of your estate can be avoided.
Wills vs. Trusts
Trusts have many advantages over wills but they involve more upfront effort and expenses. Wills are far simpler and take less time to establish. On the other hand, trusts can save a considerable amount of time and cost in the case a person dies or becomes incapacitated. A qualified estate-planning attorney can help you and your families choose which is best for your particular needs. Next week’s blog will explore three basic questions you should ask yourself before determining which is right for you.
Dustin joined the SBW&H team in 2010, coming to us from one of the oldest firms in Cincinnati. He earned his undergraduate degree from Bellarmine University, summa cum laude, and his law degree from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, where he graduated cum laude. Dustin’s practice focuses on civil litigation, including personal injury law, estate planning, probate, and business law.