Trusts and Wills and their roles in Estate Planning

When deciding on one’s future, people often become confused about the differences in a trust and a will. During estate planning, it is important to understand these differences and how each one is used. For those who are making future plans in Washington, understanding these can be vital.

One of the main differences between trusts and wills is whether or not it will be necessary for it to be moved in probate court. How much the cost will be and what types of fees are involved are also important. What types of legal affairs and the kinds of assets to be handled by the documentation also determined whether or not it is a trust or a will. The time period when the document takes effect is equally important.

With a will, a person names an executor to handle his or her estate and specifies to whom he or she wishes to leave his or her assets. Personal property, real property and financial accounts that are in the name of the deceased are all considered to be probate assets and are included in a will. Benefits that are directly passed on to others, such as retirement accounts and insurance policies, are not controlled by a will.

With a trust, the deceased will have made an agreement with the trustee to keep some or all of the deceased’s property in a trust for the beneficiaries. This includes the types of assets that can be transferred legally, such as a house or investments. A trust begins as soon as it is funded. Those assets that are included in a trust do not have to be moved through probate court.

There are several other differences between will and trusts in Washington estate planning. Anyone who is considering a plan for the future may choose to speak with an estate planning attorney. This lawyer can explain all of these differences and help the client to determine the best course of action to take.

Source:, “Lake County News“, Dennis Fordham, Aug 5, 2017

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply