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Blog: Wills, Trust, Estate Planning & Probate

January 26, 2016

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Often clients ask about the differences between an estate plan that relies on a last will and testament and one that relies on a revocable trust. While the benefits of either option vary depending on the particular circumstances, there are a few general distinctions that are present in every discussion.

Reliance on a last will and testament as the sole vehicle for transferring assets after death will cause your assets to pass through the probate process. This means that the individual you appointed to oversee your last will and testament (the “executor” or “administrator”) will need to file certain documents with the Court and provide notice to heirs and creditors before those assets can be transferred. Conversely, assets passing through a revocable trust will not be subject to the probate process. Instead, the revocable trust will continue after your death and the successor trustee will either retain the property or transfer it as your trust directs. A revocable trust generally provides more privacy than a last will and testament because the revocable trust does not need to be filed with the Court.

While the preparation of a revocable trust, including the funding of the trust through transfer of assets, may be more costly than the preparation of a last will and testament, it is worth considering and discussing with your estate planning attorney.

This blog post is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to provide legal advice in any particular circumstance or factual situation.  You should consult with an attorney prior to taking any action regarding the information contained herein.  If you have questions concerning this post, please contact Jake Natwick at Jacob.Natwick@heidmanlaw.com.

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