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What is the difference between a will and a trust?

Many people do not understand the differences between a will and a trust, or they may believe that trusts are only a good option for individuals who are very wealthy. In reality, a trust can be a good decision for people of any income level. Essentially, a trust differs from a will because it is a "living" legal entity rather than a document taking effect at death. A trust can "own" your assets and hold them for a beneficiary until a specific time.

Trusts can be beneficial for the following reasons:

  • They allow you to have maximum control during your lifetime over the investment and distribution of your assets
  • Enables you to determine who can receive your assets after you pass and when they can receive them
  • An effective way to protect your spouses or children's inheritances in the event of divorce, bankruptcy, incapacity or lawsuits
  • Can spare your family from the long and expensive Florida probate process and attorneys fees/probate costs

Which trust is right for me?

There are many different types of trusts. The best way to determine which type of trust is most advantageous to you is to talk to a knowledgeable estate planning attorney about your particular situation.

Some types of trusts include:

  • Revocable Trusts - Many people choose this type of trust over a will. A revocable trust allows beneficiaries to avoid the probate process. All power is placed in the hands of one or more persons named Trustees. Typically, you are the initial Trustee until your incapacity or death. There are also "successor trustees". In a revocable trust, you maintain ownership of the property in your trust and are in control of the Trust assets during your lifetime.
  • Irrevocable Trusts - In an irrevocable trust, you relinquish control of your assets to a degree. The terms of an irrevocable trust are thought to be etched in stone and cannot be changed. That, however, is not the case with our irreversible Trusts. One of the main advantages of an irrevocable trust is that whatever is included in the trust will be exempt from your beneficiary creditors.

An Experienced Florida Estate Planning Lawyer

Searching for a Florida Trust lawyer? If you would like Howard Wiener to review your estate plan, contact Howard J. Wiener & Associates, P.L. today. You can meet with Howard, a proven estate planning lawyer, who has been serving the residents of Palm Beach, Martin, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, to discuss your particular situation.

Call our firm at (561) 287-7068 today to speak with an estate planning attorney who has taught hundreds of Florida Lawyers "the ropes".