Will v. Trust: What is the Difference?

Setting up an estate plan creates a roadmap for what happens to your estate assets and liabilities when you are gone. Two popular estate-planning options are wills and trusts. Both can be crucial pieces to a solid estate plan.

A trust is a contract between a grantor and a trustee. A grantor is the person who creates the trust. A trustee is the person who manages the trust property. Beneficiaries are the people who will benefit from the trust property. There are many types of trusts that can be set up for many different reasons. A popular advantage of most all trusts are that they will allow you to bypass the probate system and leave property directly to your beneficiaries without judicial involvement.

A trust, rather than a will, gives a person more legal control. A trust will offer benefits like the possibility of reducing estate taxes. A trust is also good for people who want to keep their estate matters private.

Setting up a trust allows beneficiaries to receive assets faster than if your assets are transferred using a will. Unlike a will, a trust will go into effect upon creating it and begins to operate once you transfer assets to the trust.

A will is created by a testator and lays out that person's last wishes and who will receive that persons property. A testator is the person who sets up the will. There are two major components that you want to lay out in your will.

One major component is naming an executor. An executor is the person who carries out the distribution of your assets. A person can choose for an executor to be an attorney, a spouse, family member or close friend.

The other major component is naming beneficiaries for your assets. Named beneficiaries are people who will benefit from the will. If the named beneficiaries die before the testator, the testator’s heir will receive the rights to the estate. An heir is someone who is legally entitled to testator'srs assets.

If you take no action to prepare your estate plan, the estate you leave behind will be subjected to the Florida probate code.

If you are in need of a Florida trust lawyer, or a Florida will lawyer, contact the law firm of Haynes & de Paz, P.A. We will be happy to give you a free consultation!