Wills And Trusts, We'll Make Them Foolproof

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Image of paper with text Will and Testament - Legal Advantage GroupThe Foundations Of Estate Planning

Are you concerned about the future of your children and loved ones if something unexpected happens? As your estate planning attorney, we’re here to provide peace of mind, ensuring that your legacy and those you care about are well-protected, no matter what.

To achieve this, we’ll primarily use two essential tools: wills and trusts. Your last will and testament serve as the foundation of your estate plan. Trusts, on the other hand, build upon this foundation, safeguarding your wishes and legacy like the walls and roof of a house.

What Are Wills?

Wills are what most people think of when they hear the words estate planning. In movies and television, the reading of the last will and testament is usually all we ever see of estate planning in action – and they are, undoubtedly, vital.

A will is a legal document that an estate planning attorney will help you prepare to dictate your preferred beneficiaries and what they should receive from among your assets and belongings. This ensures that, when you die, the probate court that will be in charge of distributing them has clear instructions to follow.

A will, however, is limited in its power and independence. It still requires the authorization of a probate court to take effect, and it cannot lay out specific and long-term conditions and mechanisms for the distribution of your estate. That is where trusts come in.

What Are Trusts?

Among the many estate planning services a skilled attorney can make available to you is a trust. A trust is an incredibly powerful tool used for passing on all your assets and property. One of the biggest benefits of trusts is that they often ensure that your estate avoids going through probate after you die.If you pass on something titled in your name, such as a car or a house, the only way to get those transferred out of your name is through a court order. This means your family and estate will have to go through a lengthy and occasionally expensive probate process.

On the other hand, if you transfer those assets and properties into a trust while you are still alive, probate is not required. Instead, the trustee you have appointed will simply follow your instructions and distribute that property to your beneficiaries as indicated. Thus, a well-made trust does everything a will does – while also sparing your heirs time, expense, and exposure to probate.

Do I Need A Will Or A Trust?

To protect you, your family, and your estate, it is essential that you have a Will or Trust (or both!) in place. As your estate planning attorneys, we will work with you to develop a personalized will and/or trust that guarantees that your family will benefit from your assets according to your wishes, but which one should you get?

In general, the more assets you intend to pass on and the larger your estate is, the more you can benefit from a trust. For one, avoiding probate with a trust will help by removing the costs associated with the process, which are proportional to the size of the estate. Probate is also a very public process, so if you wish to keep your designations or estate and assets private, a trust is highly required.

Similarly, the more complex your wishes for how your estate should be distributed, and the more detailed the instructions you wish to include (such as distribution over time or with conditions), the more a trust can do to make sure your legacy is taken care of according to your preferences.

On the other hand, if you have only a very small estate and seek to pass it simply and unconditionally to a small number of obvious beneficiaries (such as a spouse or children), a will may be more than enough.

For most people, however, the optimal estate plan likely includes both a will and a trust. The will can catch anything that you have not specifically laid out plans for in the trust, while the trust gives you greater control over your estate and legacy.

Regardless of what you end up deciding you need, we will listen intently to your desires to design a plan that carries out your wishes and protects your loved ones.

Let Us Help You Protect Your Legacy

Legal Advantage Group offers assistance with the creation of your will and trusts as well as all other estate planning services you may require. If you need assistance with one of these legal documents, call (405) 449-5777. You are also welcome to book an appointment online or even just stop by our practice in Edmond, Oklahoma. We look forward to speaking with you!

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