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A Revocable Living Trust vs. A Will | Sterzer & Associates, A Law Corporation

Posted by Brian N. Sterzer | Jul 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

What are the differences and similarities between a will and a revocable living trust?

A revocable living trust and a will allow you to name beneficiaries for your property, but aside from that one common factor, they are useful in various different aspects.

A revocable living trust can allow you to do the following:

  • Leave property to young children
  • Revise said document
  • Avoid the probate process
  • Keep your affairs private after you pass away
  • Requires a notary public for authentication
  • Place your assets into a trust
  • Protect your assets from potential lawsuits and court challenges
  • Avoid a conservatorship

It cannot only protect you after you pass away, but while you are still alive, as well. A revocable living trust has an incapacity clause that states the individual or individuals you chose are to ensure your financial and / or healthcare wishes are respected and followed in the event you are incapacitated. Property left in a revocable living trust does not have to go through the probate process, as it no longer belongs to you. This means once you pass away, your assets can be distributed to all listed beneficiaries without the involvement of fees and the court system.

How You Can Benefit From A Will

A will allows you to do the following:

  • Name beneficiaries for property
  • Revise said document
  • Name a guardian or guardians for your children
  • Name property managers for your children's property
  • Name an executor
  • Leave instructions on how all taxes and debts should be paid

Wills are much simpler to make than revocable living trusts. The language required to make a will is simple and must be signed in the presence of two people other than the will maker. When you wish to select beneficiaries to receive your assets via a will, you only have to list individuals, as well as what said individuals are to receive after you pass away. However, unlike revocable living trusts, wills must pass through the probate process. Wills also become public property after a person passes away.

Need the help of an experienced estate planning attorney?

If you need the help of a Huntington Beach estate planning attorney to ensure you establish the document that is best for you and your loved ones, contact Sterzer & Associates, A Law Corporation, today. Our legal team has more than 15 years of estate planning experience and can help you create various documents to ensure your estate plan matches your needs and wishes. Free consultations are available, so call our firm today!

About the Author

Brian N. Sterzer

Attorney - Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate


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