Deciding between wills and trusts when estate planning

On behalf of Scaringi Law posted in Estate Planning on Wednesday, December 31, 2014.

In the previous blog titled "Estate planning is a valuable tool for Pennsylvania residents" posted on Dec. 24, we highlighted some of the most common types of estate planning. Now, we will take a closer look into two of those concepts: trusts and wills. While these two terms are often used together, they represent two very different processes.

When deciding whether to create a will or a trust, understandably, the individual's assets and income are important factors. Trusts tend to become more complex than wills because trusts are centered around a person's assets and income. However, the biggest difference between the two is that a will comes into play once a person is deceased, and a trust can be implemented at any time the person wishes.

If crafted carefully, a trust can serve as a means of gifting money to designated beneficiaries in such a way as to avoid harsh estate taxes or probate proceedings. However, wills are more basic in that they simply provide a list of directives concerning how an individual wants assets to be bequeathed after his or her death. Trusts are typically a more time-consuming and complex process due to the financial implications that may be involved.

Naturally, this blog serves to provide basic information concerning trusts and wills, which are two very important aspects of estate planning. However, these processes can be complex for those who may not be very familiar with estate planning. Experienced Pennsylvania attorneys are available to provide helpful advice regarding the overall process and to help narrow down which path may be the best depending on an individual's specific situation.

Source: boonecountryconnection.com, "Estate Planning: Do You Need A Living Trust or a Will?", Dec. 26, 2014

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