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Wills and Trusts

During our lives, we build up assets and collect items such as homes, cars, furnishings and other investments. By planning now, we can make sure everything we've worked so hard for goes to the people we want to have it.

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that specifies how you want those belongings distributed after your death. It names beneficiaries, details how your estate is to be managed and, if applicable, names guardians for your minor children. In a will, you may set up a fund for a beneficiary which goes into effect when you die.

What is a Trust?

A trust is legal arrangement in which you name someone to manage your property and assets when you are unable due to illness, injury or after your death. Like a will, a trust names beneficiaries and describes how you want your assets managed. There are different types of trusts. Click here to learn about trust options and their pros and cons.

What is the difference between a will and a trust?

  • A will only goes into effect after you die. A type of trust called a living trust is in effect while you are alive. Usually the trust is managed by you unless you become unable to do so. In that case, the person you name as trustee takes over the management.
  • Initially, a will is less expensive but since it must go through probate, that will add time and cost. Probate proceedings are also open to the public. Living trusts will cost more initially but they usually do not require probate.

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