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How a will and a trust might work together

The reasons that people do not establish estate plans can vary dramatically. Some may feel that their estates or needs are too simple to warrant a will or a trust. Others might feel so unsure of where to start that they end up doing nothing. One of the biggest questions many people have trouble answering is whether a will or a trust is best for them. Understanding a bit about each of these tools can be helpful in directing people to start on their estate planning.

Forbes explains that at its most basic level a will can be considered a good way of identifying who gets what in terms of personal belongings. For example, family heirlooms or household goods can be itemized in a will so that heirs receive what the decedent really wanted. A will allows people to get very granular when identifying their wishes for after they die. It can also go a long way toward avoiding family arguments and long-lasting rifts.

Forbes also indicates that trusts can offer people the ability to have greater control over valuable assets. This can be useful if a person wishes to prevent a potential spendthrift heir from squandering an inheritance because a trust can stipulate the use of funds for education or home purchases, for example. A trust can also help people avoid the time and costs involved in probate which may leave more for one's heirs.

If a trust is established, it is important to remember that all assets put into the trust should have their titles updated to reflect the ownership by the trust.




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