Estate planning is something that you should do as soon as possible. You want to make sure that everything is planned out in case anything happens to you. You need the assurance and peace of mind that your family will be provided for and things will happen according to your wishes. As you start reviewing your options with an estate planning attorney in Austin, there are a few words that you should understand to help you make the best decisions for your situation. Two of those words are living trust and will. Knowing the difference between these will help you determine which one is right for you.
A will is something that you’re probably more familiar with when you think about estate planning. A will helps you determine how to distribute your property once you’ve passed away. You can amend your will throughout your lifetime, so you can add things to it as you acquire more assets or change your mind on who you want to have inherit a particular item.
One of the most important things that you can do with your will is appoint a guardian for your children. You need to express your desire in regards to who you want to have raise your children if anything happens to you.
A living trust allows you to set up how you would like to manage your property in case of your death or incapacitation. If anything happens to you, you need to determine who will be the successor for your business or trust. Creating a living trust can be a great way to avoid probate of your assets and prevent your finances from going on public records. You can also use a living trust on any estate size, but you may need to add tax provisions if the estate exceeds the estate tax threshold. The threshold varies depending on the state where you live, so you’ll need to do some research to find out whether or not this applies to you.
You can determine how you want your assets to go to your minor children. Perhaps you want them to get a certain amount of money every year or you want your children to complete something before getting the money released to them. Doing this is especially important if you have special-needs children who need the financial assistance.
There are some drawbacks to choosing a living trust over a will. For one thing, a living trust can be expensive to set up. You need to be able to fund the trust. The trust should be actively managed throughout your lifetime, so you should plan on spending time working with the trust on a regular basis.
Think about your property and what you need to do with your estate planning as you determine whether you should choose a living trust or will. Contact your estate planning attorney in Austin for help to determining which is right for you, and we can help you set them up. We can help you consider all of the things that need to be put into the document and make sure that it’s worded correctly, so your wishes will be known and you can have that peace of mind that everything will work out just as it should if anything happens to you.