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4 Things a Will Does Not Accomplish

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Estate planning can be a tricky process to navigate—there are lots of options to consider, and without legal advice, it can be difficult to know which solutions are right for your needs. Many people believe that a Will is the best choice for their family. However, there are several things a Will cannot do that you may be able to accomplish with a living trust.

  1. Avoid the Probate Process

A Will does not help your family avoid the lengthy and potentially costly probate process after you pass. During probate, your assets are held while the court validates the authenticity of your Will, pays off bills and taxes, and distributes the remains of your estate to your beneficiaries. If you want your beneficiaries to have immediate access to your assets and funds after you pass, a Will may not be the right choice.

  1. Manage Your Assets While You’re Alive

A Will does not go into effect until you pass away. Individuals who choose a living trust act as the trustee of the trust, allowing them to manage assets, add beneficiaries, and make changes to their estate plans. Individuals can also transfer their assets into the trust if they continue to accrue assets after drawing up the living trust. A Will is not legally enforceable until the named individual dies. If you are suddenly unable to manage your trust, your named successor can manage your assets on your behalf.

  1. Keep Legal Matters Private

Wills are made public when they go through the legal system, so some of your family’s most private matters become accessible by the general public. This is especially important for those who are local celebrities, politicians, or in the public eye. The media is likely to obtain court records and expose the details of their financial matters. A living trust is not made public, making it a more suitable option for those who want to keep these matters in the family.

  1. Protect You if You Become Ill or Disabled

While a Will outlines what you want to happen after your death, it does not detail what will happen to you or your assets if you become ill or disabled. If you’re unable to handle your affairs and you only have a Will, the court will assign you a guardian. In comparison, a living trust allows the successor trustee to step in immediately once you become incapacitated.

Taking the time to properly plan your estate can provide for your family after your passing and ensure that all of your hard work continues to benefit your loved ones. If you’re ready to start planning for your family’s future, contact the law office of Venick, Kuhn, Byassee, Austin & Rosen, PLLC to set up a consultation.

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