What Are The Differences Between Wills and Trusts?

Property is a big part of humanity, as most people spend their lifetime accumulating assets. Ensuring the property is well guarded, even after you pass on, therefore should be priority, and this can be done through estate planning. The two crucial aspects of estate planning are wills, and trusts but not most people can distinguish the two. Consulting with an excellent New York wills and trusts attorney can help you understand the difference between wills and trusts.


Time of taking effect

As much as wills are made during the lifetime of a testator, they take effect after death. With wills and trust lawyer, you will realize that a will is not a transfer but rather an intention of how you want your property to be distributed upon your death. Trusts, on the other hand, can take effect during the trustor’s lifetime unless a timeline is specified in the trust. Trust property can be distributed to the beneficiaries by the trustee even during the lifetime of the trustor. Still, such distribution can only take effect if the trustor has not made conditions regarding distribution time. To best understand timelines please contact your wills and trusts lawyer.

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The difference in the beneficiaries

In a will, we only have one type of beneficiaries; those who receive property according to the will and upon the testator’s death. The case is, however, different in trust since there are two types of beneficiaries. Those who receive income from the trust during their lifetime most times being the trustors and once they have passed on; those who take up the residual assets.


Court process

Every will has to pass through a court process known as probate, but trusts don’t. The intent of making a trust most times is to help beneficiaries of an estate avoid the Court processes of property distribution. Therefore as much as a will is termed as the last will and testament, the contents of the will have to be still confirmed by a Court. If you are looking to get an overview of the probate process, always work closely with a wills and trusts lawyer.


Property controlled by each

A will can control all properties which are registered in your name at the time of death. Contacting a New York attorney will often give you an overview of what happens to the property not listed in the will upon death. For trusts, the only property they can control is trust property.

Author: Andrea Knight