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Should I Create Both a Will and a Trust for My Estate Plan?

 Posted on November 20, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

Untitled---2023-11-20T115812.236.jpgWhen many people think of estate planning, they consider whether they should create a will or trust. This makes sense, as these are the two most common tools used in estate planning. While both serve similar purposes, they have distinct features. As a result, for some individuals, it may make sense to create both a will and a trust for your estate plan. To learn about what the process entails and to secure legal representation to pursue your estate planning goals, contact an experienced lawyer in Illinois to get this beneficial process started. 

Wills Offer Flexibility and Simplicity 

In estate planning, a will is essentially a blueprint that outlines your wishes for how you would like your assets distributed when you die. Creating a will is generally a simple process, as is modifying a will. These two factors make wills a flexible tool for managing your estate. In addition, a will allows you to name beneficiaries, appoint guardians for minor children, and specify any other instructions you may have. Wills are an important component of any estate plan, no matter the size of your estate. 

Trusts Help You Side-Step Probate 

Meanwhile, one of the key benefits of establishing a trust is the ability to avoid probate. Probate is the often-tedious court-supervised process that validates a will and ensures the proper distribution of assets. Probate is notoriously time-consuming, expensive, and subject to public scrutiny. By creating a trust in your estate plan, you can transfer your assets to the trust during your lifetime, effectively bypassing probate. This will help ensure a more efficient transfer of wealth to your beneficiaries. 

Trusts Offer Privacy and Control 

Unlike wills, trusts offer a higher level of privacy. A will becomes public record upon probate, allowing whoever is interested to access the details of your estate. In contrast, a trust remains private, providing confidentiality for your beneficiaries and protecting sensitive information. Additionally, trusts offer more control over the distribution of assets, allowing you to specify conditions or restrictions for beneficiaries, such as age or achievement milestones. 

Take Advantage of Tax Planning Strategies 

Another advantage of using both a will and a trust is the potential to minimize estate taxes. A well-structured trust can help reduce the tax burden on your estate. It can do this through the implementation of different tax planning strategies. Taking advantage of tax exemptions and deductions can help ensure that more of your assets go to your loved ones rather than the government.

Contact a Lombard, IL Estate Planning Attorney

Take advantage of what estate planning has to offer. Contact the skilled DuPage County, IL estate planning lawyers with A. Traub & Associates. Call 630-426-0196 for a private consultation.

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