Will vs. Living Trust: What Is Right for You?

Will vs. Living Trust: What Is Right for You?

August 7, 2020

A will is a written document that indicates how property is to be distributed after you die. Living trusts provide property management throughout life and after death, which can prove handy if you become incapacitated. When you are deciding between creating a will or a living trust in Miami, FL, you will likely find appealing attributes to both. However, what’s best will depend on your situation. Here are five factors to consider when deciding which estate planning vehicle works best for you:

  • Assets: A living trust only works if you place assets into it. If you are planning more to manage future assets after your death rather than anything you own now, it is a better idea to draft a will in Miami, FL. However, if you own substantial assets now and need them to provide support to loved ones during life and after you die, then a living trust is likely a good option.
  • Management: How much work are you willing to do up front? A living trust is more expensive to start and requires more effort. You will need to start moving assets into it immediately, and you will pay more for attorney fees to make those first steps. Wills are generally inexpensive, and since they do not go into effect until after you die, they will put off any management duties until that day.
  • Taxes: Depending on your tax situation, a living trust may be a better option. There is a cap on how much your estate is worth before taxes kick in, and if you exceed that cap, a living trust in Miami, FL will substantially decrease estate taxes. However, if you are nowhere near that cap and wish to spend less money on estate planning, a will may be your best option.
  • Family situation: Your overall family situation usually makes the final determination on the shape of your estate planning documents. A living trust is often the best choice if you have a disabled spouse or an adult child who will never become independent. Also, if there are issues in your family that you believe may give rise to a will dispute, a living trust is more likely to withstand those challenges. The same is true for pet care—it is easier to keep funds coming to take care of animals in a living trust than with a will.
  • Confidence in trustee: A living trust is managed by an individual called a trustee. You can name anyone to this role, including a financial professional. However, they will have a lot of power, and it will not be monitored as heavily as with a personal representative appointed in a will. So, if you have an individual you can trust in the trustee role, then you are good to go with a living trust. Otherwise, you may prefer the monitoring mechanisms offered with a will and probate proceeding.

If you are trying to decide between creating a living trust or creating a will in Miami, FL, it’s a good idea to consult with a skilled estate planning attorney. Ruben J. Padron, PA practices estate planning law and can help you make a decision between a living trust or a will. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

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